The Cross Roads Bobcats have a new man in charge in 11-year coaching veteran Michael Gain.
Gain comes to Cross Roads from Latexo where he was the athletic director for the past two years.
“Before that I was at Ingleside High School and Mathis High School,” Gain said. “I got the athletic director job and that was what I was looking for at first. When this job became available, it was a dream come true to be a head football coach so that is what I wanted to do.”
He has had previous stops at Skidmore-Tynan, Manvel, Mathis, Ingleside and Latexo.
The coaching job in Cross Roads is his first head coaching job.
“It is the big thing in Texas and everybody knows that. I always like to challenge myself and people can talk about Cross Roads and what it is,” Gain said. “We have great kids here and great pieces here. I have a feeling that we will sneak up on people.”
Gain said when he was told by coach Bo Martin what the challenges would be running the football team, he knew it was something he wanted to be a part of.
The Bobcats have not made the playoffs since the 2003 season.
Cross Roads finished 6-5 during that season as the second place team under coach David Stout.
The Bobcats lost to the Italy Gladiators, 52-14, at Bruce Field in their only playoff appearance in school history.
“I was told that it was a rebuild here at Cross Roads and coach Martin was very honest and candid about it,” Gain said. “I do this job for challenges and everybody looks for the easy jobs. I like to rebuild things and at Latexo we went from not being an overall successful program to making the playoffs in multiple sports and being competitive.”
Gain said when he was the athletic director at Latexo, he had the chance to see Cross Roads play them in basketball and was impressed with how hard the students worked.
“We have competed against them in basketball and the kids always played so hard,” Gain said. “When you see kids who work hard, you know that you can instill skills in them. The athletes are here and I think it is a great situation. The community has been supportive and the board has been supportive in getting me anything that I need. I think that is a dream come true to have a supportive community and board.”
Gain is the fourth coach of the Bobcats in the past five seasons. He said he has let the students know that he will be with them in the long run for whatever they need his help with.
He is wanting to make sure the students trust that he will be staying with the program.
“The big thing with them, just like any kid, is that you can say it as many times as you want to but you have to prove it,” Gain said. “You can talk and talk and talk but you have to show kids that you are there for them and they will gain the trust they need. All I can do is just work hard and show them that I will be here for them no matter what. It is not just football related but in the classroom or at home or whatever they need. I have an open door policy to gain their trust and we have good numbers. They are buying into my program right now.”
With a new District 10-2A due to the biennial realignment this past offseason, the Bobcats will face Big Sandy, Cayuga, Gladewater, Union Grove, Hawkins and Kerens.
Gain believes they can prove the prognosticators wrong to become one of the four teams to make the playoffs this season.
“I view that as the same way here with the football program since I like challenges,” Gain said. “We have great coaches in place and the kids work hard. I think we have the capability of being a very competitive and sneaking up on people program.”
Cross Roads opens the scrimmage portion of its season Friday, Aug. 12 at Carlisle.
They will host Dawson Aug. 19 with both scrimmages starting at 6 p.m.