Mustangs look to rebound in '10

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Mustangs look to rebound in '10

Post  Kevin on Thu Aug 26, 2010 6:47 pm

read the original Article
Mustangs look to rebound in '10

* By Daniel Youngblood
* Abilene Reporter-News
* Posted August 22, 2010 at 12:43 p.m.
HERE



Head Coach: Craig Slaughter
Career Record: 48-40 (1-9 at Sweetwater)
2009 Record: 1-9 (1-4 in District 2-3A)
Last District Title: 2005
Last Playoff Appearance: 2008
Returning Lettermen: 21
Returning Off/Def Starters: 5/4
Base Offense: Multiple I
Base Defense: 4-3
Top Returnees



Click for Enlarged View
B.J. Walker will line up at both running back and linebacker for the Mustangs

B.J. Walker, RB-LB, 6-0, 205, Sr.; Taylor Jones, QB-DB, 5-9, 160, Jr.; Kris Mayes, WR-DB, 5-9, 160, Sr.

One could use many words to describe Sweetwater’s 2009 season. Disappointing, frustrating, challenging all fit.

Second-year coach Craig Slaughter is hoping by the end of his time at Sweetwater fans will be using another word: outlier.

The Mustangs went 1-9 and ended a nine-year playoff streak in Slaughter’s first year at Sweetwater, earning their only win over one-win Breckenridge. But Slaughter, who lifted Clyde to new heights from 2006-08, is viewing this season as a chance to get the Sweetwater program back on track.

“We feel like we’re a better coaching staff and we feel like this is a much better program than we showed last year,” Slaughter said. “Our definite goal is just to be a much improved ballclub, and I’ll be very disappointed if we’re not.

“Now, it’s a definitely a tough row to hoe, so I don’t know what that means down the road, but I know we had a very good spring and a much better summer, so we hope that translates to much better football.”




Click for Enlarged View
Photo by Thomas Metthe, Thomas Metthe/Reporter-News @Cutlines copy:Sweetwater High School players run drills during the Mustangs’ first practice on Aug. 2.


Perhaps the biggest difference between this and last year for the Mustangs is the players’ familiarity with Slaughter and his system. Last year, Slaughter changed Sweetwater’s base offense from the wishbone to the I-formation, a change he didn’t expect to be quite so difficult.

“I definitely underestimated being in the wishbone for a decade,” he said. “That was tougher than I envisioned.”

This year, though, his players have a much better understanding of what to expect.

“The first spring I was here, we’d call a play, talk to all 11 guys on the field and then run it a minute or two minutes later. This spring, we ran five plays in that time,” Slaughter said. “With the terminology and the plays, there’s a much better grasp of what we’re trying to do.”

At the heart of that improvement is junior quarterback Taylor Jones, who has shown “massive improvement” since being thrown into the fire in 2009. With B.J. Walker, a 700-yard rusher a year ago, sharing the backfield, Slaughter said he expects a much more explosive attack.

And with a return to the 4-3 defense after experimenting with a stack last year, Slaughter said he’s expecting a return to the hard-hitting defenses fans have grown accustomed to from Sweetwater.

“I think overall, it will be a much improved club,” he said. “We’re going to take care of the ball better, we’re going to play way better defense, we’ll be way more physical and just overall the level of competition for playing time will be better.”


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Re: Mustangs look to rebound in '10

Post  Kevin on Thu Aug 26, 2010 8:46 pm


Thomas Metthe/Reporter-News
Sweetwater High School players run drills during the Mustangs' first practice of the season on Monday morning, Aug. 2, 2010, at Sweetwater High School.


Thomas Metthe/Reporter-News
Sweetwater head football coach Craig Slaughter watches as his players run a drill during the team's first practice on Monday morning, Aug. 2, 2010, at Sweetwater High School.



Thomas Metthe/Reporter-News
Sweetwater High School players run drills during the Mustangs' first practice of the season on Monday morning, Aug. 2, 2010, at Sweetwater High School.




Thomas Metthe/Reporter-News
Sweetwater High School players run drills during the Mustangs' first practice of the season on Monday morning, Aug. 2, 2010, at Sweetwater High School.



Thomas Metthe/Reporter-News
Sweetwater High School players run drills during the Mustangs' first practice of the season on Monday morning, Aug. 2, 2010, at Sweetwater High School.



Thomas Metthe/Reporter-News
Sweetwater High School players run drills during the Mustangs' first practice of the season on Monday morning, Aug. 2, 2010, at Sweetwater High School.



Thomas Metthe/Reporter-News
Sweetwater High School players run drills during the Mustangs' first practice of the season on Monday morning, Aug. 2, 2010, at Sweetwater High School.




Thomas Metthe/Reporter-News
Sweetwater head football coach Craig Slaughter watches as his players run a drill during the team's first practice on Monday morning, Aug. 2, 2010, at Sweetwater High School.



Thomas Metthe/Reporter-News
Sweetwater assistant coach Jarrett Vickers sprays water into the mouth of player Max Zetzman during a water break during Monday's practice at Sweetwater High School on Monday morning, Aug. 2, 2010.



Thomas Metthe/Reporter-News
Sweetwater High School players run drills during the Mustangs' first practice of the season on Monday morning, Aug. 2, 2010, at Sweetwater High School.


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