By: John Raffel
Pringle faces new challenges with Owosso football
Devin Pringle is taking on another rebuilding project as a football coach. The current one could be his most challenging.
Pringle, since the late 1990s, has been coaching area football with two separate stints at Carson City-Crystal and one at Lansing Waverly.
Now it's time for another rebuilding project at Owosso.
“Up until this last school year, I was head football coach (at CC-Crystal) for three years again,” Pringle said. “I was running the alternative ed. program and was a secondary administrator, coaching football and baseball. Last year, they asked me to take over the athletic department when Larry Farmer moved on. So I had to step down from coaching football and baseball and was doing the AD's job.”
But after stepping away from coaching again, Pringle determined it wasn't where he wanted to be.
“I wanted to be back out working with kids on a daily basis,” Pringle said. “I took the AD's job because that's what the district asked me to do for the good of the organization.”
The opportunity came up to coach football and teach physical education, weight training and strength conditioning at Owosso. But the football program at Owosso has been struggling.
“When we took over, it was a 27-game varsity losing streak,” Pringle said. 'They did not have a JV team last year. They didn't have enough bodies to have a JV team. We were a Class A school that had a freshman team, a varsity team and was on a 27-game losing streak. We had 21 returning kids come to the program. There were 11 seniors coming back and 19 juniors. We had 21 kids coming to the varsity.”
In 10 years, Owosso has had just two wins against teams with winning records.
“We're kind of starting back to where we did years ago at Carson and Waverly,” Pringle said.
The Trojans have started out 0-5, losing games by 31 points or more.
“We have 35 kids on the varsity, and have a healthy JV team with 22 kids and a healthy freshman team with 22 kids,” Pringle said. “So we're fielding three teams. We have our youth program for the first time coming around. We have them running some of our base sets and will support that program to be where we want to be.
“I wish there was a magic switch you could flip to be instantly competitive. I'm pleased with our kids' effort and desire and their willingness to be competitive. I'm confident we can move this thing in the next year or two to be competitive.”