Clements looking to regain 2007 form
It all started on a rainy night at Mercer Stadium in September of 2007. The Clements Rangers, picked to finish 6th in their district by the local media faced the Katy Seven Lakes Spartans in the first game of both team's seasons. Clements started slow down 21-7 with 6 minutes left in the game, but finished in Rocky Balboa like fashion that would become their trademark on their way to the greatest season in school history. Junior Derek Carr, open for passing by a tremendous block by Jack Fernandez, hit Walker Dille in the corner of the end zone with just seconds remaining on the clock to give the Rangers a huge win.
District play showed that the Rangers possessed the "Eye of The Tiger" as win after win continued. Two games were especially sweet for the mighty Rangers. Down 28-0 at halftime vs. Marshall, Carr unleashed an onslaught of touchdown passes, the biggest to Matt Heitzer who ran 40 yards after the catch to put Clements ahead for good. The next week vs. rival Elkins, Clements was down 21-0 and came back to win 35-21.
It was a special time. The town was abuzz with Clements football mania. Super Fans came out of the woodwork all over Sugar Land and showed their Ranger pride by wearing blue and white. Alumni who had not been to a game in 20 years were showing up at every game. Even Mayor David Wallace had a pep rally at City Hall.
Like every great success story, the Rangers were fighting more than just opponents on the field. Their junior sensation Omar Amin was valiantly fighting Leukemia, which motivated them even more. Carr, Dille, running back Chris Lenoir, and an all-senior offensive line led the yard guzzling. The defense was stacked with Heitzer and Clayton Riddle at linebackers. Curtis Zekkour also plugged up the middle with severe presence.
The biggest reason for their unbelievable season? In my humble opinion it was coaching. Jeff Hulme, Barry Campbell, and Jeff Edwards had these 175 lb kids believing they could accomplish anything. They told them they could beat anybody. The kids bought in. David met Goliath when Clements played Stratford and nationally heralded QB Luck who is now the QB at Stanford. In an epic battle, Clements scored the go ahead TD when senior Chris Lenoir, who broke every rushing record in school history, barreled in from only a few yards out. Luck tried a Hail Mary but to no avail. This was Clements' year.
Then came the game all Clements fans would love to forget. They played Katy in the regional final at Rice stadium. Jeff Hulme towered over the Katy head coach at the coaches meeting. Unfortunately, that's the only battle Clements won that night. To give you a visual, Katy had 3 kickers hitting field goals in warm ups at 50 yards consistently. They leveled Clements on every play like they were playing 5th graders.
Katy won 42-0, and Clements' fairy tale had ended.
Hulme, Campbell, and Edwards left after the 2007 season to coach in Mansfield TX. Since that time, Clements has not made the playoffs. What does Clements need to do to regain that winning spirit? They need to regain that winning spirit. Fans need to support the Rangers before, during, and after games. The coaches must make the players believe that they do have the talent to accomplish great things. The players need to "do what others won't, so they can have what others don't."
The school must rise again and be obese with a positive atmosphere that comes from these people. Good Luck Rangers!!
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