Panthers close season with 2-7 record

RANGELY I The Panthers’ football season ended the way it started, with a loss.
In between, there were ups and downs — more downs than ups — but plenty of reason to look forward to a brighter future, first-year coach Tim Galloway said.
“We did some good things, we did some bad things,” Galloway said. “Looking back on it, and even Friday night, we were this close. We have been all season long. We’re just not finishing. That would be a way to sum up our entire season.”
Last Friday night, Rangely was blanked by Paonia, 40-0, ending the season with a 2-7 record.
“They’ve got a pretty good team,” Galloway said of Paonia. “We couldn’t move the ball offensively. They have a lot more speed than we do. They flew to the ball.”
It didn’t help matters that Rangely lost its starting quarterback, and its backup quarterback. The Panthers finished the game with a freshman — Dillon McTague — playing QB.
“That was the first time he played there all year,” Galloway said. “We ended up throwing him to the wolves.”
Starting quarterback Patrick Phelan was knocked out of the game midway in the third quarter. Backup Kody Denny had already been injured earlier in the game.
“They had a kid ejected for hitting Pat late,” Galloway said. “A couple of our kids took exception to that and they got ejected. The game got out of hand. But when you see your quarterback lying on the ground because some kid cheap shotted him, that’s hard to take. But we showed some fire.”
The Panthers, despite being dominated on the scoreboard, gave a good effort.
“They hung in there,” Galloway said. “They kept fighting. They didn’t quit at any point.”
Galloway is already looking ahead to next season. He and the rest of the coaching staff got a late start this season. Galloway wasn’t hired until the week before two-a-day practices started.
“We got thrown to the wolves, too,” Galloway said of the coaching staff. “We didn’t know what we had. We were still evaluating kids halfway through the season. We just didn’t know our kids. Now, we’ll have the whole year (next season).”
This season was tough on the players … and the coaches.
“None of us coaches had ever been part of a losing season,” Galloway said. “Getting blown out in those four games we got blown out in, that to me is completely unacceptable. When you get shut out and get 40 hung on you, that’s not Rangely Panther football.”
Galloway expects better things in the future for the Panthers.
“There are some young kids coming up,” Galloway said. “You start winning, and kids come out of the woodwork and want to play.”
“One of the parents came up to me and said, ‘You’ve made a lot of strides. You know, you don’t always see it (as coaches), but we see it in the stands.’ Hopefully he’s right.”