Athens Review, Athens, Texas

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May 31, 2014

Bulldogs ready to pounce

Eustace AD Heath Ragle optimistic about the future of the athletic program

EUSTACE — In his first year leading the Eustace’s athletic program, Heath Ragle is optimistic about the future of those who call themselves Bulldogs.

After he was hired to take over the program from Brian Herman during the off season, Ragle said the results have paid off in all sports this season.

“We are very pleased with where the athletic program is,” Ragle said. “We are not satisfied by any means and we never will be because we are always looking to achieve bigger and better things.”

He said with a state champion coming from the girls cross country team and a state qualifier in junior track athlete Madi Allen, the community should be proud of what they are seeing.

They also had a state qualifier in Sunni Goodell during the powerlifting season.

“It was exciting and it is a testament to the coaching staff and to the kids,” Ragle said. “I am extremely proud of how they represented Eustace ISD and they are some special kids. You love to see them get the glory and the credit that they deserve.”

He said with the loss of head coaches in boys basketball and softball, he is currently working on finding candidates to fill those spots. He is also looking for a junior high coach.

“The searches are going good and we have talked with some applicants,” Ragle said. “We are talking with them and doing some negotiations right now to try and get them over here.”

The strength and conditioning program is another area Ragle is pleased with at Eustace.

“We are starting to do things there consistently that are starting to pay off in all competitions,” Ragle said. “I think we can always grow in anything that we do. We can always have room for improvement.”

With a new district for the next two years in football and all of the other sports, Eustace will have an interesting travel schedule.

“There are some new challenges and obviously in the fall we will be getting some new teams in football that we have not played,” Ragle said. “We know we will have some difficult teams. It will be interesting and fun and the kids are excited.”

Ragle said the challenge to the athletes is not to worry about everyone else.

“I think we have to worry about what we are doing and not about what the outsiders are doing,” Ragle said. “We need to focus on our day in and day out responsibilities. We need to work on what we have to do to get better and keep this going.”

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