New Coach Scott Ryle Has Tradition-Rich Bullard Brook Hill Off to 5-0 Start
Winning isn't a once-in-a-while thing at Bullard Brook Hill. The Guard are used to winning football games.
So, it's safe to say Scott Ryle came into his first season as head coach with his hands full when he took over a program that had its first losing season in 2005 and missed the playoffs for the first time in a decade. This was a program had went to three consecutive state championships, winning the TAPPS Division 2 title in 2011.
Ryle came to Brook Hill after spending four years as head coach at North Cobb Christian School in Kennesaw, Ga. But prior to that he was the offensive coordinator at Southwest Christian in Fort Worth, so he knew about the type of football he'd be coaching again back in Texas.
"Football in Georgia is really competitive. Public and private schools play together, so you play in very tough divisions, but it's still not East Texas or Texas football," Ryle said. "It's a little more serious around here, where it's a priority. I wanted to come back as quick as I could."
Well, it's easy to see Ryle already has The Guard on the right track. Brook Hill is off to a 5-0 start and has won its last two games by a combined 76 points.
"So far, so good," Ryle said. "The kids have worked hard throughout the spring, summer and fall and I'm excited at how they've come together as a team. We've got good senior leadership and a great staff."
Ryle's first priority when he took over was to establish a more balanced offense. Brook Hill had been a throw-first offense and put up big points, but he wanted to install an offense featuring a strong running game. Jeremiah McGowen and Co. have responded well -- McGowen has 588 yards and nine touchdowns on the ground through five games.
The Guard have still been effective through the air, too, though. In his first year under center Hood Taylor has completed 54 of 81 passes for 819 yards with four touchdowns and one interception.
"You've got to be able to run the football. Changing philosophies was key for us. We had to learn how to be physical up front," Ryle said. "We had a lot of new faces on the offensive line, so that was a question mark coming into the season, but those guys have really stepped up."
Just as impressive as its offense has been Brook Hill's defense. The Guard have allowed just seven points over the past two games and have forced about three turnovers per game. Defensive back Parker Galbraith is tied for the lead in East Texas with four interceptions.
"Coach (David) Collins, our defensive coordinator, has done a fantastic job. He's been here a long time and has been keeping that team together," Ryle said. "I'm proud of how they've played, especially early on in games where our offense wasn't playing that well. And forcing the turnovers has really helped us out on offense."
The Guard are in the midst of a tough TAPPS Division II District II schedule that includes Carrollton Prince of Peace on Friday night. Ryle said his defense will have one of its biggest tests of the season facing a triple option offense.
"It's a headache. It's the type of offense that you have to be perfect every single play," Ryle said.
It only gets tougher after Friday night's game. Dallas Christian has won four consecutive district titles, Tyler Bishop Gorman is putting up crazy points this season and Cedar Hill Trinity Christian made the Division III state championship last season.
But Brook Hill's priority, Ryle said, is to not lose focus on the now, not the later.
"The season happens too fast, I haven't really looked back and said, 'Wow, we're 5-0,'" Ryle said. "Maybe it's just how I am, but I'm still not satisfied. We have big upside but we have a lot to improve. We have a lot of tough games up ahead and it's going to be interesting to see how this district plays out. You can't take a play off because you let up one bit in this league."