Cougars look to new head coach as 2019 season begins
The Rosebud-Lott Cougars will look to new, but familiar, leadership this season to defy a preseason pick of finishing out of the District 13-2A Division playoff race. Dave Campbell’s 2019 Texas Football Magazine estimates that the Cougars will finish six in the league standings of new head coach Rafael Williams’ first season at the helm.
Williams takes over for Brad Ballard, who stepped away from coaching roles to serve as the R-L ISD athletic director. Williams was a defensive coordinator under Ballard who took the Cougars to the playoffs twice during his tenure.
Holland is ranked No. 13 and is picked to win the district title for a second season. Thorndale was chosen at second, Hearne at third and Thrall in fourth. Milano is picked just ahead of the Cougars and Marlin right behind.
Rosebud-Lott returns nine starters off of last year’s 2-8 squad, four on offense and five on defense. Players to watch include running back/linebacker Adrian Valdez, quarterback John Paul Reyna, lineman Kenneth Benson and wide receiver/defensive back Demonte Hargrow. Valdez led the team in tackles in 2018, while Benson is a three-year starter on offense and the anchor of the D-Line.
Other notable players to watch include linemen Steven Buhl and Jackson Hughes, wide receiver/defensive back Julian Reyna, receiver Jordan Watson and defensive back Colby Coker.
Rosebud-Lott opens up its 2019 campaign on Aug. 30 at Anderson-Shiro and then hosts Chilton on Sept. 6. Rio Vista comes to town on Sept. 13 and the Cougars go to Jarrell on Sept. 20.
District 13-2A play begins on Sept. 27 on the road at Thorndale and continues Oct. 4 when Rosebud hosts Marlin. A road trip to Holland is on the scheduled for Oct. 18 and then Thrall will be at Cougar Stadium on Oct. 25. The Cougars got to Milano on Nov. 1 and finish up the district schedule on Nov. 8 when they host Hearne.