Thursday, our high school Training Camp Road Trip makes its first 11-man stop, in District 7-2A Div. II, looking at the Munday Moguls.
They are looking to get back to the post-season, after missing the playoffs for the first time in 6 years. They return plenty of talent, and many people are picking them to have a bounce-back season and make it back to the playoffs.
"We've got a good group of guys," said senior receiver/defensive back Heath Bivens. "We've been playing and been on varsity since we were sophomores. There are about seven or eight of us who have always played on one or two sides of the ball together, so we feel confident about that since we have so much playing time together, hopefully something good will come of it."
On defense the Moguls return 7 starters, including the Bivens and his twin brother Holt, who should anchor that side of the ball.
Head coach Patrick Corcoran thinks the speed of the team will benefit the Moguls, but tackling is something they need to improve on.
"We've got to become better tacklers," Corcoran said. "We've got to follow through our assignments and understand what gap we need to fill and play in. And the biggest thing is, play fast all night, because that's what our advantage is. We're not going to push anybody around."
"The biggest thing is just playing together as a whole, from the defensive line to the linebackers and to the secondary," Heath Bivens said. "We've all got to play together and everybody has to do their job. And if everybody does their job, good things will come from it."
On offense, the Moguls have to work in another new quarterback. Knox City transfer Jacoby Thomas will take over at quarterback, moving Day'veon Dockins back to his more natural position of running back. Thomas brings speed to the position, something the Moguls are used to having in the backfield.
"He's looking good," said Bivens. "He's real fast and he can throw the ball pretty good but there is always room for improvement. And he knows that, and we know that."
"It will takes some time to learn the intricacies of what we do, the little things with your feet," Corcoran said. "He's got natural abilities that are going to make him perform well there. I think it will just take a little time. When he will really start learning the position is when we play somebody else, so when we come to Roscoe for that first scrimmage his learning curve will shoot up."
Munday also has to replace some lineman, as they will have to rely on some younger players to fill those roles this season.
"We have a few new guys that have some big shoes to fill," said senior lineman Aiden Hunter. "But also we have some guys who have been playing together for years, since we were in junior high. So the confidence is a little -- it's awkward on both sides. Because we have new and old players, but I think they are doing good. We have some pretty good talent. It's good. They are young so that's always nice, but because of that they've got some years and they also got a lot of experience to pick up from that, but they're doing good for beginners."
"These young men are smart," Corcoran said. "They've worked hard in the weight room, pretty strong kids for sophomores. We're real pleased with that."
If everything falls into place, the Moguls will be right in the thick of the playoff race. But they know they still have to work for it.
"We're going to have to come out and prove ourselves," Holt Bivens said. "You know, we can't let that get to our heads that they think we're going to go to the playoffs. We can't take that for granted, we've got to come out and play hard."
The Moguls will open their season on Friday, August 26th at 7 p.m. against the Hawley Bearcats.
On Friday night, we'll continue our previews with a look at the Archer City Wildcats.
Munday Moguls 2016 Schedule
Aug. 26 vs Hawley, 7
Sept. 2 at Stamford, 7:30
Sept. 9 vs Bronte, 7:30
Sept. 16 at Windthorst, 7
Sept. 23 vs Seymour, 7
Sept. 30 BYE
Oct. 7 at Archer City, 7*
Oct. 14 vs Electra, 7*
Oct. 21 at Haskell, 7*
Oct. 28 at Petrolia, 7*
Nov. 4 vs Quanah, 7*
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