It’s finally that time again!!
Hot, sticky summer nights become bearable when Friday night football rolls around and after much preparation, the Mustangs take the field.
After spring workouts, 7-on-7 competitions, summer workouts, the Mustang fourth quarter runs, two-a-days and the scrimmages, the real thing is here. This Friday the team will start week zero against the Nederland Bulldogs at Nederland.
The two scrimmages played their role in the process by showing areas for improvement and also showing areas that have improved.
“I thought we competed well in our first scrimmage against Dayton . They are ranked 3rd or 4th in 4A and although we lost, 28-21, it wasn’t too bad with the young ones that we have on defense,”
Head Coach Dan Hooks said. Hooks, who is only the second head coach in WO-S history, will begin his 46th season this Friday night.
The Mustangs then went back to the field and got busy practicing, working on the areas that needed improvement. The weather was miserable for several of those days and hampered the time spent on the field preparing for Vidor.
The second scrimmage saw the Mustangs tie with Vidor, 14-14, after being up at the half by two scores.
“We weren’t pleased with that tie, but we felt that we played better than we did against Dayton and that is what we needed to do-improve,” Hooks said.
Now, as the Mustangs get ready to face Nederland in week zero, several key players have their positions locked up, while others are still looking to fill big shoes left by strong senior players who graduated and have moved on to play college ball.
Quarterback Ortavious Hypolite is playing well, connecting on some deep throws to receivers Trey Franks and Josh Gloston.
Senior Quintavious Garrett is also showing improvement each week running the ball.
Senior Eric Arnold is the anchor on the offensive line, although he is also playing defense.
“ Arnold had a good spring, preparing for the season and we are still searching for the right players to help him on the line,” Hooks said.
Senior Kendal Veitch will play center with junior Van Jordan starting at guard. Other positions are up for grabs.
The defensive side of the ball has taken a couple of hits with junior Stephen Cook out with an injury for the first few weeks of practice.
Cook, who plays defensive tackle, will be joined by senior Josh Riggs. The heart of the defense falls to returning linebackers, Josh Lynch and Robert Jiles. Rounding out the defense on the corners is Gloston and Franks, while one of the safety positions will be occupied by junior James Haynes.
“The season doesn’t get any easier after Nederland,” Hooks said.
“We will face LC-M for our first home game and they always bring their best. Then we’ll see a Kirbyville team that annihilated their opponents in the two scrimmages and a Jasper team that looked good on both sides of the ball.”
District for the Mustangs will begin October 10 when they play host to the Silsbee Tigers. The Mustangs will be defending four district championships and a 24 game winning streak.
“The expectations here are so high. The kids are used to winning all the time and they don’t understand losing,” Hooks said. “We have good kids who want to play and will work hard. We’ll keep improving, work through it and it will pay off. Until then we will wade through the deep waters.”
The Mustangs welcome back Coach Toby Foreman after a year away at Baytown Lee. Foreman coaches the quarterbacks.
Friday night can’t come soon enough. Be sure to bring some ‘OFF’ and your school spirit and cheer the Mustangs on to another winning season.