The Turnaround – What could have been

Lubbock High School Football players injured

Lubbock lost 13 starters to injuries during the 2014 season.

by Jason Strunk
Lubbock High School Head Football Coach
Follow @WestTXCoach

The goal for the 2014 Westerners was getting back into the playoffs. Actually, the goal was to get back in and win a Round One game. These aren’t goals you establish for a team that has no shot to do this. I pride myself on making realistic goals. Our goals this season where in-line with how far we have come since we came to Lubbock. It just didn’t work out this year for a multitude of reasons.

At the top of the list for what went wrong in 2014 is the word injury. Good grief. Had anyone told me we would lose a total of 13 (THIRTEEN, 10+3 = 13, Bakers Dozen = 13, Unlucky 13) starters before this season started I would have said impossible. There is no way that could happen. I mean that number is obscene, absurd and ridiculous. Little did I know.

So, yes, we lost thirteen starters. The offense was crushed like cars at a monster truck rally. Every offensive play-making starter we were banking on coming into 2014 was lost. James Garcia, Alex Loredo, Jordan High. We lost starting tackle Jesse Molinar. We lost Blake Robbins. The hits just kept on coming. Pooh Bear Ambriz, OL, hurt his knee.

Tommy Najera, a captain, our best DE, gone. ACL. Trayvon Norris, Devain Hughes, James Perez. All gone. We lost backups to backups. For crying out loud, one of our trainers tore up her knee. By the time the season was over half of our JV team was playing varsity. GOOD GRIEF!

Alright, we lost a lot. But what did we gain? We gained experience.

Sophomore Dae Dae Morgan went from starting RB to starting QB. He is going to be special. Devante Greathouse returns in 2015. He had 61 receptions for 800 yards, 9 TD’s. Jacob Bayouth will team up with Greathouse as possibly the tallest receiving combo in west Texas. Bayouth had a solid season. Robbins is back. Sophomore WR Keyshawn Collins is coming back. The RB’s, Elijah Garcia and sophomore Ty Doss are back. Up front, Pooh Bear, Nick Riojas and Nick Hoeve are all back. So is sophomore OL Josh Hoeve.

Freshmen Tristan Snook did well at NG. Soph. DE Tyree Johnson had an All-District type season. OLB Jacob Medrano is back. Norris is back, too. Soph. Safety Mitchell Gallagher will be a big piece to us in 2015. I can keep on going.

The bottom line is we gained a lot of experience on the varsity level. Yes, the season was tough. But the silver lining is all the experience. I like where we will be – a lot. State champions haven’t even been crowned yet in 2014. Who cares? 2015 is now for us.

We will get this done. Tough people are built to last. Our program is tough. Stick around. You are going to hear from us.

I will continue to wrap up this season in different installments. Hope everyone is well!

Keep fighting!

About the Author

Jeff Fisher
Jeff is an award-winning journalist and expert in the field of high school sports, underscored with his appearance on CNBC in 2010 to talk about the big business of high school football in America. Jeff turned to his passion for high school football into an entrepreneurial venture called High School Football America, a digital media company focused on producing original high school sports content for radio, television and the internet. Jeff is co-founder and editor-in-chief of High School Football America, which is a media partner with USA TODAY High School Sports.