WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - We continue our training camp road trip, with the lone Texoma team in District 8-1A, Division II, The Benjamin Mustangs! They're looking to build off a three-win season last year.
Coach James Jackson is in his second year as head coach of the Mustangs. And his third overall with the program.
"We're feeling pretty good, admits coach James Jackson. "We've established a routine with the kids, and we're excited about what could happen when everyone shows up."
The Mustangs will bring back the majority of last year's team. But they won't be getting any reinforcements from junior high.
"We lost 2 seniors, Justin Rainwater and Lincoln Strickland, Jackson said. "We didn't have any 8th-graders coming up, so we pretty much have the same squad with the exception of the two seniors."
Coach Jackson hopes that improved conditioning will help them avoid the injury bug that cost them some numbers a year ago. And allow them to focus more on being aggressive on the field, instead of worrying about getting hurt.
"We have a real good weight program now, that we've lacked in the past. Jackson said. "If we could build some strength and some endurance and some confidence, I think we'll be just fine."
The Mustangs should get an extra district game this year, with Patton Springs expecting to play a full season, which they haven't most of the past decade. But the district won't be easy.
"You know, we've got Guthrie and Jayton, which are always going to be tough to play. admits Jackson. "They're our closest schools that we play."
Their non-district schedule is pretty tough, with Notre Dame, Wichita Christian and Abilene Christian all on the list. But they'll open with two teams they defeated a year ago.
"Gold-Burg, last year we had to travel and that was a big deal, and we ended up coming out on top. Jackson said. "Wilson, on the other hand, this year we're going away and that's the long trip for us."
Coach Jackson says if his team can get another fast start this year they might be able to get on a roll for the rest of the season.
"If we get fired up, Jackson said. "Get motivated and get going, I think we'll be just fine."
The Mustangs will host Gold-Burg on Friday, September 1st to open their schedule.
Benjamin Mustangs 2017 Schedule
Sept. 2 vs Gold-Burg, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 8 at Wilson, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 15 at Notre Dame, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 22 vs Abilene Christian, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 28 vs Wichita Christian, 7 p.m.
Oct. 6 at Harrold, 7:30 p.m. * (If Harrold plays this season)
Oct. 13 vs Panther Creek, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 20 at Moran 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 27 at Guthrie, 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 2 vs Jayton, 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 10 vs Patton Springs, 7:30 p.m.