The Month in Sports June: Brannen and Bombers Flying High into the Postseason

The Month in Sports June: Brannen and Bombers Flying High into the Postseason

By Jack Walker

 

 

 

Now with high school and collegiate athletes enjoying the summer break and fine-tuning their games in the offseason for their respective sports the spotlight falls on the Big Country’s most celebrated professional sports team: The Abilene Bombers. The Independent League’s professional minor league baseball team that represents Abilene will not play this coming season because of issues that have not been completely released by minority ownership but a lot of that drama concerns the void of a home facility that would allow the organization to sell alcohol and thus attract a much more significant following… Who wants to watch the P-Dogs play without their booze? Not a lot of people apparently, especially provided their success –or lack thereof- over the past few years. Pardon my digression; let’s get into the feature for this narrative now… One place that is a licensed alcohol vendor here in town is the Taylor County Coliseum, or Expo Center: home to our beloved Abilene Bombers. Not familiar with them? Remember the Ruff Riders? {{more}} Back in the mid 2000’s Katy’s pro indoor football squad, the Ruff Riders, entered our sporting lexicon clad in red and black, sort of a generic Texas Tech wannabe, even the team name bears a resemblance to the Red Raiders… After a near half-decade of competition, new ownership shifted toward a new team name and new colors and the Bombers were born. Under new head coach Joe Brannen, the former starting quarterback of the Ruff Riders; the team, donning a new logo and a sharp green and navy outfit has been enjoying a considerable success this year. They recently throttled expansion squad, the San Angelo Bandits by 25 to secure a .500 record at 5-5 for the regular season. They started 3-1 but were thwarted by a slew of unfortunate happenings that began with a botched call by officials in a home game against defending league champs the Amarillo Venom. The questionable decision allowed the Venom to escape with a nail-biting victory and sent the Bombers packing for a three game road trip in heart-breaking fashion. Given the lapse in momentum Abilene lost three straight away from home then came back to win again and then split another short road stint before finally putting a bow on their regular season campaign with the stomping of San Angelo on June 20th. The Achilles heel for the Bombers however, dating back to the Ruff Rider has been the Venom. Abilene has yet to beat them… ever. They will look to put an end to that theme when they travel to Amarillo this coming weekend to take on the defending Lone Star Football League champs. “They absolutely have had our number since the get-go” Brannen was quoted saying. “But every week our philosophy is to go 1-0 and we don’t worry about the past and we don’t look into the future.” Brannen has embedded this mindset into the heads of the players since training camp and the team has adjusted to setbacks throughout the season well due to the positive element that is Brannen’s brainchild. Haven’t had a chance to watch the new-look unit play this year? Either hit the road for the next couple weeks and travel alongside our Big Country indoor football mainstay or patiently hope that the Bombers can make it to the LSFL championship game. Oddly enough, that is the only scenario that would make another 2013 home-game a reality. On a positive thought, Brannen and the team our very optimistic. “We’re playing the best team football we’ve played all season,” Brannen added. “And this is definitely the time to be playing your best football is heading into the playoffs.”