Sports Column: Administration makes right move in hiring Samples

Sports Column: Administration makes right move in hiring Samples

Coach Reginal Samples speaks to those in attendance at his opening press conference about how he expects to bring success back to the Panther program. (Karla Estrada photo)
Coach Reginal Samples speaks to those in attendance at his opening press conference about how he expects to bring success back to the Panther program. (Karla Estrada photo)

With the signing of former Dallas Skyline coach Reginald Samples as the new head football coach, the Duncanville Panthers look to turn everything around on the gridiron. Coach Samples will definitely help this process. Samples is one of Texas High School Football’s winningest coaches over his 25 year career. With an astounding record of over 100 wins and only 22 losses and over 19 playoff appearances in just 6 years including trips to the 4A, 5A and now 6A state championship playoffs along with a Class  4A Division II State Championship appearance with Lincoln in 2004. Samples has the potential to take this team back to championship contention.

He brings intensity to the program and a bright future. Duncanville’s front athletic office definitely made a huge splash with this move. Coach Samples is a great coach and mentor. He has witnessed many of his former athletes which he trained and developed turn into Division 1 players and even some to move on to the NFL. In his press conference he stated that when he walks in to a program he immediately looks at players and tries to identify them as future Division 1 Athletes.

From this year’s Skyline team alone he has some of the highest sought after recruits in the country on both sides of the ball including recently sought after players such as 4 star inside linebacker Anthony Wheeler who is ranked 8th in the country and is sought after by teams such as Alabama, Ohio State and LSU before making a commitment to Texas to play next year. Also in Samples recruiting class for this year are the likes of  4 star wide receiver Carlos Strickland who is listed by 247 Sports as being recruited by UCLA, LSU, Oklahoma and TCU among others.  Samples system also produced two NFL recruits this year including Denver Broncos Linebacker Corey Nelson  and Sandiego Chargers Cornerback Steve Williams who who both made an immediate impact in their rookie year with over 20 combined tackles.

Over the past few years, Duncanville Football has not seen the playoffs. Although coach Jeff Dicus made great strides in developing character and a sense of urgency in academics it has been a tough go for the Panthers on the gridiron finishing this season with a record of 3-7 including a huge loss to Grand Prairie on homecoming. The fans want to return back to the winning promise land. This is the absolute biggest goal at the moment.

Samples promised he is going to show the fans the team wants to win during his opening press conference. But the head coach can only do so much. Players have to buy into his system and execute and make plays. A widespread rumor is that the players were never the problem at Duncanville, it was always the coaching. Well, that rumor will finally solve itself next season. The administrative staff is bringing in the best and he has won with two different programs in the Dallas ISD System. Its time to see if these players can make some changes. Its time for there to be another State Championship trophy coming home to the  City of Champions.

The upcoming classes representing Duncanville are some of the best in awhile. The class of 2016 features players on the roster such Safeties Cameron Devos and Jaron Bryant, Linebacker Colton Rowen and Defensive End Marcel Southall as well as a highly sough after junior kicker Eric Corasco among others who have been on this team for a while. The team has plenty of athletes with a lot of potential. They have the demeanor to win. The class of 2017 also is a class with crazy talent. They have the speed and the power to get the job done on both sides of the ball and they’re hungry. The school has not had a State Championship run in nearly a decade and it is time to see one.  These two classes together should wreck havoc in Class 6A which is loaded with big teams. Big division games against schools like Cedar Hill and Desoto should be huge showdowns. This means very good games in the making for the rival schools.

Duncanville has to get back to the glory ways, fast, and they are on their way with the hiring of Samples. The potential is through the roof for this program. Great coaches, players, fans and facilities. As Coach samples put it during his press conference, “We won’t back down to anybody.”