MERTZON — The upcoming season for Irion County won’t be like any season its had in a long time.
In a transition year, the Hornets have a new head coach and are making the change from 11-man football to six-man. Don Coffell’s first season is the first time the program has competed in six-man since 1975.
“When a program changes coaches that’s a hard enough transition for the kids, said Coffell. “But these young men are not only going through a coaching change but a program change. When you change coaches its kind of like a program change anyway, but their dropping from 11-man to six-man. So they’ve got a lot of new stuff to learn.”
Players returning from last season’s team were hesitant to make the change in the beginning, but are getting used to the transition period and Coffell has a lot to do with that.
“Now that we’ve got a new head football coach and we’ve started practice, it’s a lot better than I what I thought,” said senior running back and linebacker Kreek James. “It’s fun, it’s fast, and it’s more of what we need. It’s more of what we are.”
While the Hornets won’t be in a UIL district in 2019, they still have the opportunity to compete for a state championship. The independent six-man teams in Texas compete for a separate state championship, at the end of the regular season.
“We’re seniors and we don’t get to play in a district for a UIL state championship, but we do get to play for an independent state championship, which is just as exciting,” said senior quarterback and cornerback Brad Gryder. “We look forward to that just as much as we would look for a UIL state championship.”
Irion County opens its season against Paint Rock on September 7th.