The Ranger defense takes down a Cokeville player earlier this season. (GAZETTE PHOTO / Michelle Tibbetts)
The Kemmerer football team had a successful scrimmage on Friday, August 31, beating the Riverton J.V. team 42–0.
Because the Saratoga Panthers had to forfeit their season — including a scheduled game against Kemmerer — the Rangers enter the regular season with a record of 1-0.
“Despite the fact that we were guaranteed to be given credit for a victory, it was very important to me that we win the scrimmage to give some legitimacy to that record,” said Rangers head coach Bart Jernigan. “Overall, I am far less worried about the record than how we play. I am a big believer that if we play up to our potential, the record will reflect that.”
Coach Jernigan said he was pleased with the team’s effort in Riverton.
“The boys flew around and made plays. We forced short fields and dominated time of possession,” Jernigan said. “I thought that our tackling was stronger, our blocking more sustained and our overall execution more crisp.”
The first regular season game for the Rangers is on Friday, Sept. 7, at home against the Lyman Eagles. Lyman lost to the Pinedale Wranglers last week, 28–22.
“We showed a lot of growth from week one to [week] two and will be looking to try and replicate that growth this week,” Jernigan said.
The regular season doesn’t start until Friday, but the Rangers coach is preparing the football team for the challenges they will encounter throughout the entire season.
“The battle you face in a season is not to stagnate and get complacent. To do that you have to get better; sometimes that is in the details and other times it’s in the big fundamentals.”
Jernigan and his coaching staff are implementing a new offense this season for the team, and Ranger fans are eager to see if it will pay off in the regular season.
“We were looking at making the switch to the double wing after last season, and the addition of Coach Rogers to the staff (who ran the double wing in his stint as the head coach of the Rangers) has been a big help in accelerating some of its implementation,” Jernigan said.
“Overall, the kids are buying into the offense and executing fairly well,” Jernigan continued. “We still have details to clean up, but the base is there for sustained success.”
The Rangers have also stepped up with a new defensive strategy this season to be competitive against tough 2A teams in the state.
“Defensively the 3-5 is an attack-minded defense and has been huge in helping us keep pressure on our opponents over the last two weeks,” Jernigan said. “The kids have adapted well to the changes and are executing at a fairly high level. I look forward to seeing how good we can get in these schemes.”