BRYAN — The Madisonville Mustangs gave us an exclusive look at their returning seniors last Thursday at Merrill Green Stadium in Bryan for media day.
The Mustangs joined numerous other schools from the area to pose for pictures and answer questions prior to the season.
“It feels good to get out here and meet the other teams,” said wide receiver and defensive back Kendall Moffett. “It’s nice to get the feel for the season.”
Madisonville will welcome back 10 returning starters on offense and nine on defense from the 2016 season. They will compete under coach Rusty Nail in his second season at the helm of the Mustangs.
“We know how to play together since we’ve been doing it for a while,” said Moffett on locker room comradery. “That’ll make things a lot better for us once the season comes around opposed to some other teams.”
The Mustangs finished 3-8 last season with a record of 2-2 in district play. They were mentioned in Dave Campbell’s Texas Football Magazine as a candidate for one of the most improved teams in the state.
Coach Nail was extremely productive in all of his former positions, particularly at Mart ISD from 2006-14. He took home eight undefeated District Championships and two State Championships during his tenure.
“It’s a little different playing under a coach for their second season opposed to their first,” said senior linebacker Baylen Mills. “We’re definitely closer as a team and heading into camp is easier because we now know what to expect.”
The Mustangs look to rebound after a 62-31 loss to Liberty in the postseason. They finished third in the district behind Bellville and Shepherd and beat out Tarkington and Royal for the middle spot.
“Our team strengths are our speed and agility,” said Mills. “We just need to make sure to play to our strengths and make it to the playoffs again like we did last year but hopefully have a better outcome. We can use that first round loss as motivation in 2017.”
Madisonville will host Diboll to kickoff the 2017 season on Sept. 1. They will compete in two preseason scrimmages on Aug. 18 and 24, the first in Madisonville and the latter in Cameron.
Training camp began for varsity and both junior varsity squads on Monday.