RICHMOND — The Randle Lions are setting their sights on a playoff berth as they focus on the development of a young and athletic roster during the spring season.
Head Coach Brian Randle expects a more mature and improved team following its 4-6 inaugural season.
In their first season, the Lions surprised many by contending for a playoff spot in District 10-5A until the final week.
However, late losses to Lamar Consolidated and Huntsville dashed their hopes of postseason qualification.
Coach Randle believes that addressing mental errors, which plagued the team, will be a key focus this spring.
“We intend on making the playoffs,” Randle said. “We had games where we just gave the wins away. Really, we could’ve been 7-3 and instead we were 4-6. I don’t see that happening this year with a good solid camp. We need to get bigger, stronger and faster and we are getting there.”
Despite including the program’s first senior class this season, the Lions remain a relatively young team, with potentially four sophomores and at least one freshman expected to start on opening night.
“We are learning how to battle through everything,” Randle said. “The kids have picked up and they are getting better. There’s still growth to be done, probably about six months away from having true leaders. Give us a couple of years and Randle High School will become a special place and we are on our way to it.”
However, Randle emphasized that youth and immaturity could be the team’s downfall, as it was last season, if not improved upon.
This was evident in Tuesday’s spring game, where mistakes nullified numerous big plays.
“We got to clean up our penalties because we are still making too many of them,” Randle said. “We are also still a little mouthy which we need to clean up. If we can, we are going to be a good quality football team. We are going to be much better than we were last year.”
Randle’s roster boasts a diverse group of athletic players, providing depth in the receiving corps and defensive line.
Standouts from the spring include receiver Jaxon Montelongo and defensive lineman Chace Sims, who received a college offer from Texas Tech University.
The team also welcomes back last season’s sack leader Curtis John-Miller, leading receiver Cortney Brown, and starting quarterback Leo Garza, who threw for nearly 2,000 yards.
“The defensive line is going to be a special unit,” Randle said. “We honestly have a receiving corps that is out of this world. The challenge is only having one ball to keep everyone happy. Montelongo had a great spring and Cortney is a special athlete and player. DeMeco Harvey showed out and Marc St. Fort can be very good for us, just needs to get confident out there on the field.”
The Lions will kick off their 2023 campaign against Pasadena Memorial on Aug. 25.
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