Nacogdoches hired Bobby Reyes in January to do what he's done elsewhere: revive a struggling program.

Reyes has coached since 1973 and has spent most of that time in East Texas. At Richardson Pearce, he inherited a team that had reached the postseason once in 33 years. Eight years later he left Pearce with a record of 60-36.

Reyes encounters a similar, if not as dramatically unsuccessful situation in Nacogdoches, which has gone 1-9 and 3-7 the past two seasons, respectively. The Dragons have reached the playoffs three times since 1965.

Reyes, who has two previous stints as a Nacogdoches assistant, believes talent is not the issue.

“Our kids have been beat down for so long, they need something positive to happen,” Reyes said. “We’re going to try to provide a really positive experience for them and I think they are going to feed off of that.

“The problem has been to get the kids to do what’s right, to keep them out of a bad situation, and keep them in a good program. That’s what we’re going to do. We set the expectation to our kids that we've got to do things right in the community and in the class room. We are going to turn the program around.”

Though recent history has been less than stellar, Reyes believes his team has some solid players that will help push the Dragons over the hump. Two of those players are future Division I FBS offensive lineman Jacob Bragg (6-3, 285) and defensive end Greg Roberts (6-5, 205), whose father won the Outland Trophy for Oklahoma in 1978. Reyes coached Greg Sr. at Nacogdoches in the mid-1970's. Bragg and Roberts are cornerstones of a promising junior class.

“Our kids are excited to get started," Reyes said. "We’ve had a great offseason, good spring, and a really good summer.”

The Dragons started two-a-day practices today. They will have three scrimmages since they do not have a Zero Week game. Nacogdoches hosts Chapel Hill on Aug. 17 before visiting Jasper (Aug. 24) and Cypress Creek (Aug. 31). Then comes  a Sept. 7 season opener at home against Henderson.

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