HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Monahans’ Staugh selected as Coach of the Year

It wasn’t the start that the Monahans football team was expecting.

Coming off a season in which they advanced to the Class 4A DII regional quarterfinals, the Loboes were confident entering the 2022 campaign and promptly lost their first three games.

They didn’t lose again until the first week of December.

The reversal included a 10-game winning streak that saw Monahans race to the District 1-4A DII title and a berth in the regional championship game.

The Loboes finished 10-4 after losing to Glen Rose.

“It was awesome,” Monahans head coach Fred Staugh said. “Our kids worked really hard, they deserved it.

“I’m really proud of them. This was the first four-year class for our staff.”

While those outside the program only saw the record, Staugh was watching something else every day at practice.

He wasn’t worried about the slow start or the questions about the team.

“I think we just got healthy,” Staugh said. “We kept chipping away at it, the team chemistry came together.

“There wasn’t any head hanging; we just talked about how an 0-3 start is not ideal, but it didn’t take away from our preseason goals of winning the district title and making a run in the playoffs.”

For guiding the Loboes through their early-season hiccups and keeping them focused for the next 11 weeks, Staugh has been selected as the 2022 Odessa American’s Coach of the Year.

Staugh set up a tough nondistrict schedule with the hopes that it would benefit the Loboes later in the season.

Still, after a pair of lopsided losses, that theory was being tested.

“Week 1, we played a playoff game (against Shallowater) right out of the gate; just a tough game,” Staugh said of the season opener. “And after we were 0-3, I thought that our best week of practice was heading into the Snyder game in Week 4.”

The Loboes and Tigers were district foes last season, with Snyder earning the victory.

Monahans exacted its measure of revenge this season with a convincing 48-21 triumph at Estes Memorial Stadium.

The Lobes scored less than 35 points just two more times the rest of the season and averaged nearly 50 points per game during the winning streak.

“Once we started winning, those seniors didn’t want to lose,” Staugh said. “Once they got on a roll, they were working hard week in and week out.

“We talked to them and told them after the losses that the only thing that matters from these games are the lessons we learn.”

After righting the ship against Snyder, Monahans got past Denver City to sit at 2-3 entering District 1-4A DII action.

Rival Pecos was quickly pushed to the side, followed by an undefeated Fort Stockton team.

Fabens, Clint Mountain View and Clint quickly joined them and the Loboes were district champs at 5-0.

Postseason victories against Levelland and Ferris extended the winning streak to nine and Monahans was set for a regional semifinal against Godley.

When that contest ended, after a sack by Monahans’ Adan Saucedo on a fourth-down play in the final seconds of a 62-55 Loboes’ victory, football in December was now on the schedule.

Though a loss to Glen Rose at the Mustang Bowl in Sweetwater ended the run, Staugh talked to his players about holding their heads high.

“I just told them that you lost to a dang good football team,” he said. “It isn’t like you lost a game that you would like to have back, to make a different play.

“This is the best run since I’ve been here, the first team in 11 years to make it to December. We’ll enjoy that, then we’ll get back to work.”

>> Follow Lee Scheide on Twitter at @OALeeScheide



Key Stats: Guided the Loboes to a 10-4 mark, with a 10-game winning streak, and a spot in the Class 4A DII regional championship game.

Coach Fred Staugh says: “As a coach, you always worry week to week. Every day, when I show up, I have to do my very best to put these kids in the best position to win. We have a very close staff, we’ve been together for four years. The kids trust us and we trust the kids.