The 2019 high school football season is right around the corner and the Madisonville Mustangs are working to compete in one of the state’s most challenging districts.
The Mustangs share District 8-4A with highly-touted opponents Waco Connally, Lorena and Fairfield and were picked to finish sixth in the district by Dave Campbell’s annual Texas football magazine.
“A lot of the Dave Campbell stuff is predicated on last year and how many starters you have returning,” said Coach Russell Urbantke, who took over the head spot shortly after the conclusion of the 2018 season. “Our district is one of the toughest and all of the top dogs have everybody coming back just like we do. Where we were placed does not surprise me. I love that spot. They will not be looking at us.”
Last year’s squad finished the regular season with a record of 5-5 (3-3 in district) under Rusty Nail. The Mustangs will return six starters on offense, including versatile quarterback Tyrese Brown, and seven on defense.
Urbantke is not worried about his team’s preseason placement. Instead, the Mustangs are focused on using it as fuel for the upcoming season.
“I like taking that mentality and I think you can motivate your kids with it,” said Urbantke. “These are just one or two guys that see what we have returning from a 5-5 team in a very tough district, so I understand. The top couple of teams in our district have a bunch of big time division one recruits, and they are all back. That is why they are where they are.”
Urbantke is pleased with the numbers he has seen during the summer workouts, which include conditioning, weight lifting and team drills. They will hold the workouts for another two weeks before practice officially begins at the end of the month.
“I told the guys that we have 11 of these summer workouts left,” said Urbantke. “We try to always amp things up a little bit in July just because it is right around the corner.”
The Mustangs will open the 2019 regular season on the road at Bellville on Aug. 30. Their first home game will come against Caldwell on Sept. 13.
Dave Campbell’s District 8-4A predictions read as follows: Waco Connally, Lorena, Fairfield, Robinson, Salado, Madisonville and Mexia.