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2013 Fall Sports Preview: Mustangs bring experience back to field
Members of the Nixon-Smiley Mustang football team run through a number of offensive drills during an afternoon practice session.
NIXON -- When the Nixon-Smiley Mustangs take the field this year, they will bring something to the table that they haven’t had in quite some time -- experience.
The Mustangs not only return more than half of their varsity roster from last season, but also have nine of 11 starters back on both offense and defense. That is a rarity at any school, and certainly hasn’t happened in Nixon any time in the recent past.
Nixon-Smiley competes in a very crowded District 15-2A DII, and the Mustangs had their struggles throughout much of last year. Nixon-Smiley’s then-young team managed just one win during the season, and was again left out of the playoff picture. Things could be quite different for the Mustangs this year, though, as the UIL opens up a fourth playoff spot, and the Nixon-Smiley experienced team is hungry for some postseason action.
As for the players to watch, Head Coach Carlton McKinney listed guys that will sound all too familiar to the Mustang faithful. Seniors Garrett Earlywine and Oscar Torres will help lead the group, as will junior standouts Jared Van Auken, Tristan Newman, Nick Pena, Logan McMain, Justin Ramos, and David Miles.
With so many players back, especially at the “skill” positions, the Mustangs aren’t looking to make many changes, but rather to expand on what the team has been doing the past couple of years.
Offensively, Nixon-Smiley will continue to work out of the wing-T, staying heavy on the run, but with options for quick passing plays. Coach Bobby Newman will continue to call the plays, and the Mustang staff believes this system gives the kids the best opportunity for success.
On the other side of the ball, Coach Trey Alexander takes the reins of the defense, and McKinney said he believes Alexander’s experience should help improve the defense. The Mustangs gave up a lot of points last season, and major changes are needed to shut down the opposition.
McKinney said he sees the team’s experience as its greatest strength, and is thankful the kids got to see as much playing time last year as they did. He knows they were a bit “shell-shocked” at times, but believes they should be more consistent this year on both sides of the ball.
Like the other teams in its district, Nixon-Smiley will only have three non-district games before playing a grueling seven-game district schedule. The Mustangs will again face Flatonia, Three Rivers, and Yorktown before jumping into district play against defending champs, Karnes City.
The district will be tough, and McKinney described the teams as all being “quality teams” with “no gimmes.” Karnes City is picked by most as the team to beat this year, and Poth will be as tough as ever. Dilley and Stockdale are also going to have good teams, and everyone will be fighting for the top four spots.
McKinney said the team’s goal is to get into the playoffs, and he feels they have a legitimate shot this year. He said the seniors have put in the work, and that his team is looking for the opportunity to play beyond the regular season.
McKinney believes his team can make the goal a reality with “all-out effort every day.” He has challenged his kids to do the little things day in and day out, and he hopes it will help them avoid the momentum-killers that plagued his team last season. His athletes had a good summer and have come into this season with good attitudes. They are excited about this season, and are ready to take the field on Friday night.
The Mustangs will open their 2013 season at home against Flatonia this Friday, Aug. 30. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.
Nixon-Smiley Varsity Football
Date Opponent Location Time
Aug. 30 Flatonia P Home 7:30
Sept. 6 Three Rivers Home 7:30
Sept. 13 Yorktown Yorktown 7:30
Sept. 20 OPEN
Sept. 27 Karnes City* Karnes City 7:30
Oct. 4 Dilley* HC Home 7:30
Oct. 11 Stockdale* Stockdale 7:30
Oct. 18 Bloomington* Bloomington 7:30
Oct. 25 Cotulla* Home 7:30
Nov. 1 Natalia* Natalia 7:30
Nov. 8 Poth* SN Home 7:30
* District Games; HC-Homecoming, P-Parent night,
Nixon-Smiley JV Football
Date Opponent Location Time
Aug. 29 Flatonia There 5:30
Sept. 5 Three Rivers There 5:30
Sept. 12 Yorktown Home 7:30
Sept. 19 OPEN
Sept. 26 Karnes City* Home 5:30
Oct. 3 Dilley* There 5:30
Oct. 10 Stockdale* Home 5:30
Oct. 17 Bloomington* Home 5:30
Oct. 24 Cotulla* There 5:30
Oct. 31 Natalia* Home 5:30
Nov. 7 Poth* Away 5:30
* District Games
Nixon-Smiley JH Football
Date Opponent Loc. Time
Sept. 12 Yorktown Home 5/6
Sept. 19 Karnes City Home 5/6:30
Sept. 26 Karnes City* There 5/6:30
Oct. 3 Dilley* Home 5/6:30
Oct. 10 Stockdale* There 5/6:30
Oct. 17 Bloomington* There 5/6:30
Oct. 24 Cotulla* Home 5/6:30
Oct. 31 Natalia* There 5/6:30
Nov. 7 Poth* Home 5/6:30
* District Games
1 Garrett Earlywine SM/OLB 12
3 Nick Pena QB/CB 11
5 Kevin Martinez FB/LB 10
8 Tristan Newman TB/FS 11
10 Michael Mills SM/SS 11
12 Samuel Moore QB/CB 10
20 Justin Ramos SE/LB 11
22 Michael Scarbrough HB/OLB 11
30 Jordan Martinez HB/ILB 11
32 Jared VanAuken FB/LB 11
44 Tom Palacio TB/LB 11
50 Logan McMain OL/DL 11
53 Jathon Palacio OL/DL 11
54 Oscar Torres OL/DE 12
55 Darren Kaluza C/LB 12
60 Jacob Perez OL/DL 12
62 Tony Pena OL/DL 11
64 David Miles OL/DE 11
70 Phoenix Medina OL/DL 11
73 Riley Samford C/DL 11
80 Coleton Trammell SE/DE 11
82 Zachary Payne SE/DE 10
85 Deion Jacobo SM/CB 10
88 Omar Munoz SM/CB 10
89 Eduardo Tovar SM/CB 12
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