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Horns numbers low, hopes high

LINDEN – Former Faith Academy head coach Robby James got his first look at his new Longhorn team last week when he spent three days at Marengo Academy.

“Numbers are down,” James said. “We had 19 or 20 guys I think. The main thing we did was a little orientation.”

James, who announced in early April his resignation from Faith Academy and subsequent intention to fill Marengo’s headmaster and head football coach vacancies, said he was impressed with the players who were present during the three days of work.

“We don’t have many guys, but you can tell they’ve been around football. They catch on quickly,” James said. “You can tell all the guys have been well coached in the past.”

While his team’s numbers were slight, James was high on the potential of a pair of offensive skill players.

“I think from what I saw of Matt (Wallace), he’s going to be fine. He’s going to be a good leader for us,” James, who went 72-22 in eight seasons at Faith, said of the upcoming junior who figures to take the team’s quarterback job. “At running back, Rabe Hale is going to be a good one.”

As he wraps up the semester at Faith, James understands the task ahead of him is formidable.

“Playing 3A football with 19 guys is not going to be easily done, but we can do it.” James, who replaces long-time MA head coach Jesse Little, said. “Possibly we’ll pick up some more, but I can’t sit around worrying about that. We’re just going to get the guys we’ve got ready.”

For the 59-year-old James, getting the Longhorns ready for 2009 becomes a full-time job when he arrives in Linden for his first official day June 15.