When the Prosper football program ended their more than disappointing 2014 season, there was a feeling of change in the air and most knew that something had to be done to turn this program around especially if they were going to build a winner in a town that could be just a few years away from going from a 5A program to a 6A program, not to mention breaking ground on a brand new stadium in the same amount of time.
In December, Prosper head coach Kent Scott resigned after eight years with the program after the team posted back-to-back 3-7 record and missing the playoffs both times. It was time for the program to go in a different direction.
From the moment that news was announced, rumors began to fly about who the new head coach was going to be. There were some big names being thrown around town, some made sense while others came completely out of left field.
When the calendar year shifted into 2015, the announcement that the entire town was waiting for was made. The new head coach of the Prosper Eagles was going to be Leander ISD athletic director, Chris Ross. It was a hire that some weren’t expecting but the excitement surrounding him coming to Prosper was almost off the charts.
If this football program was going to be able to transition into a 6A program in a few years, Ross was the guy to lead them in that direction and do so with one of the best football programs not only in the Dallas/Ft Worth metroplex but also in the state of Texas. From the moment Ross stepped into his new role, he was meeting with returning players and even held a meeting in the school’s basketball arena specifically for the parents to tell them what he expected from their kids not only as athletes but also as students.
“It was the best fit not only for myself but for my family,” Ross told me back in May about why he said ‘yes’ to this job offer. “This was a career move but also a family move. [Prosper] reminds me a lot of Cedar Park, honestly. When I went to Cedar Park 10 years ago it was Prosper. It’s what Prosper is right now.”
While bringing in Chris Ross was a big move for the Prosper football program, it was the coordinators that came with him that opened a lot of eyes. Two of the most notable names were offensive coordinator Brandon Schmidt, who coached at Cedar Park High School for nine years, and defensive coordinator Jason Johns who was the defensive coordinator at Abilene Christian University for six years.
Not only are the coaches changing, but things have changed in recruiting as well.
With the season just a few weeks away, Division-I schools are already taking notice and have made multiple trips to see the players they’re interested in including running back Robert Mahone, who’s already committed to Boise State, tight end Brock Goddard, safety Jay Bias, and linebacker John Brannon, who’s getting looks from just about every Division-I school in the state of Texas, among a few others.
No matter who you talk to in Prosper you get the same sense of excitement for the season that is just a few weeks away from getting started. There’s a new feeling with the players and a belief that this team can go from being pushed around in district 5-10A to the team doing the pushing.
It begins on August 26th against Birdville, a team Prosper defeated to start the 2014 season that ended up being just one of the team’s three wins on the season.
But it won’t be about how they begin the season, it’ll be how they finish it that will dictate how the 2015 Prosper football program will be remembered. Can they immediately turn around a 3-7 season to become a playoff contender or do they still have a lot of growing up to do?
The answer to that depends on who you ask. But that’s why they play the game. That’s where all the talking is done.