By Brennan Riker
Special to The Post Dispatch
The Borden County Coyotes football schedule was released for the upcoming 2021 season. The Coyotes are coming off of a 11-3 season and a State Semifinal appearance in 2020, an accomplishment that hadn’t been made since the 2017 season where the Coyotes won the Class 1A Division 1 State Championship. Last season, the Coyotes lost in the Semifinals to the eventual state champion Sterling City Eagles in overtime 40-48, who had also beat Borden County earlier in the season. In addition to their deep playoff run, the Coyotes had clinched an undefeated District 4 title, which was their 13th straight district championship.
This season, the Coyotes are in their second year of their current district alignment. Borden County garnered preseason accolades as they are ranked 2nd in the state in Dave Campbell’s Texas Football Magazine Preseason Rankings. Their schedule will remain nearly the same as the 2020 season, with the exception of Week 1 where the Coyotes will take on the May Tigers in Jayton for the 18th Annual Jayton Gridiron Classic, instead of playing Calvert. The Coyotes are also currently looking to possibly play the Morgan Eagles at Baird in Week 6, instead of Jonesboro, but that is still yet to be determined. As customary, the home and away sites will be flipped from the 2020 schedule for games without a neutral site.
Although they have a favorable district slate, Borden County will take on big name opponents for their non-district schedule. Head Coach Trey Richey has shown no fear of a good challenge, as four of the Coyotes’six non-district opponents are ranked in the top five of the Dave Campbell’s Preseason Rankings for 1A D1. May (Week 1) is ranked 3rd in the state, the Westbrook Wildcats (Week 2) are ranked 4th, the Rankin Red Devils (Week 3) are ranked 5th, and Sterling City (Week 4) is ranked 1st in the state. Both May and Sterling City have combined six State appearances and each have one state championship respectively, as Sterling City beat May in the 2020 State Championship. In addition to these ranked juggernauts, Borden County will meet up with Water Valley in Week 5, who are returning 11 lettermen and are poised to make a deep run in the playoffs.
Even though Borden County graduated eight seniors from last year’s team, the Coyotes will still look to resume their district title streak and extend the streak to 14.
“We graduated an incredible class last year but we have some young guys eager to prove what they can do this year,” said Richey. “We only return one starter from both sides of the ball, but we feel like we have some guys that can step in and give us a great chance to compete.”
The Coyotes will use the daunting non-district schedule to toughen up the young and inexperienced team in preparation for district play.
“We feel like if we can stay healthy, this will definitely prepare us for our district schedule where we hope to make it 14 years in a row for district championships, but we know our district will be very difficult,” he said. “But, our expectations every year are to compete for a chance at the district title as our first goal and then try to play football when the grass is dead.”
All games, times, dates, and locations are subject to change.