New Byers boys head coach Shane Calhoun faces a tough task ahead. He inherits a job at a school facing declining enrollment numbers for the past decade.
"The proximity to larger towns, being closer to Wichita Falls, you have a better chance to go to a bigger school if you want to," Calhoun said.
Byers expects 75-80 kids for K-12, with 35-40 kids set to attend high school for the upcoming school year. Facing an uphill recruiting battle all year, Byers held a "Meet and Beat the Coaches Night," a basketball scrimmage and ice cream social for the town tonight.
Friends and family had a chance to meet Calhoun, who spent the last two years as a defensive coordinator at Electra, and kids had the opporunity to play the staff in a friendly game on the hardwood.
"It's pretty much the only game in town," Byers superintendent Steve Wolf said. "(With this night) we wanted to build up some enthusiasm for the upcoming school year."
While many football teams across Texoma will be trimming down their rosters once football practices being next week, Calhoun will be battling to field a team for the six-man season. Since he's new to the neighborhood, Calhoun is relying heavily on his seniors to recruit new blood to not only the football team, but to all of Byers's athletic teams.
"Coming in, I've talked to several of the seniors, trying to get them more involved and put it on their shoulders to get kids to come out because this their last year of high school," Calhoun said. "We want to go out with a bang."
Dylan Rodgers needs no convincing. The senior has played every sport imaginable, from football and basketball to tennis and golf.
"You only live once. You only get to go to high school for four years," Rodgers said. "There's always that special bond with guys when you play. That's what keeps me going."