FREER — Freer superintendent Conrad Cantu can easily remember when the Buckaroos were considered one of the best small school football programs in Texas. That’s because in high school, he was part of those teams people here still talk about.

“Freer’s had some great teams over the years,” Cantu said. “My senior year in 1992, we were ranked No. 1 in the state. We got into the playoffs and lost to Refugio, 13-7. Refugio went on to lose to Schulenberg who ended up winning the state championship that season.”

His fondness for the program only means he’s especially committed to hiring just the right person for the position of Freer’s new athletic director and head football coach.

The vacancy was created when former NFL quarterback-turned high school football coach Rhett Bomar left Freer to work at Alief Taylor as that program’s offensive coordinator. Boomer was at Alief Taylor in a similar role before coming to Freer in 2015. Boomer resigned from Freer in early March. 

The district began advertising and taking applications for the job immediately after Bomar resigned. The district is taking applications until Monday. Cantu said his plan is to interview coaches next week and have a finalist for the school board to consider at a meeting on April 24th.

The district received some 50 applications as of Wednesday afternoon, and Cantu said it’s a pool of worthy candidates.

“I’m very pleased with the quality of people up for the job,” he said. “I’m very confident that we’ll be able to hire a capable and experienced coach who will do well with the program.”

Cantu said the coach the district eventually hires will play a crucial role in Freer.

“Our AD, like in any district our size, is someone who is very visible,” Cantu said. “He’s someone that can help our entire school. If you think about all of the students who are out there on a Friday night, from the band, to cheerleaders and all the other kids, if we have a winning football team, I think it lifts the spirits of everyone at the school.”

The new coach will take over a football team which is coming off its best season in years. The Buckaroos were 7-4 in 2016. They emerged as one of the more prolific small school offenses in Texas. They finished District 31-2A as the runner-up and lost in the first round of the playoffs. 

Freer Over The Years

2013: 4-5 under head coach Jake Hofstetter.

2014: 1-10 under Hofstetter. Despite winning only one game in Distrtict 16-3A, the Buckaroos advanced to the Class 3A, Div. II playoffs. They lost to Odem, 66-6, in the first round.

2015: 4-7 in coach Rhett Bomar’s first year. Lost to Taft, 48-27, in the first round of the 3A playoffs.

2016: 7-4 under Bomar and finished as the runner up in 31-2A. Lost to Yorktown, 55-26, in the first round of the 2A playoffs.