Prognosticators peg Mustangs as most improved in the District


Dave Campbell has released the 2017 preview edition of all things football in the state of Texas for the upcoming season, and it has some good news for the Madisonville Mustangs.

Campbell selected the Madisonville Mustangs to finish third out of the five teams in District 11 of 4A Division II. He picked the Bellville Brahmas and the Shepherd Pirates to snag the first two spots in the district, with the Cleveland-Tarkington Longhorns and the Brookshire-Royal Falcons rounding out the field behind the Mustangs.

Last season, the district standings played out exactly how Campbell calls them to in 2017. Still, there was a notable drop off in District 11 after Bellville and Shepherd. While Shepherd finished 7-2 overall to Bellville’s 7-3, the Brahmas were still able to seize the top spot thanks to their undefeated district record.

The Mustangs were able to collect district wins over Cleveland-Tarkington and Royal last season but fell to the top dogs, resulting in a 2-2 record. Overall, Madisonville had an even tougher time out of district and finished the year 3-7 overall.

While Campbell pegs the Mustangs to finish in the same spot, he also believes they’ll be one of the most improved teams in the state in 2017. Madisonville boasts more returning starters on both sides of the ball than any of their District 11 rivals by far. The offensive side of the ball will see 10 returning starters, including quarterback Ben Phillips and wide receivers Kendall Moffett and Johnny Simpson.

The magazine states Phillips, who is entering his third season as the starter, will take a big leap forward with the help of Moffett and Simpson. Also turning heads on the offensive side of the ball is junior running back Aaron Nellums. The pieces are in place for a versatile and explosive Mustang attack on offense in 2017.

Madisonville also features nine returning starters on the defensive side of the ball, totaling 19 players in the lineup who have been in this position before. Each of their 4 District rivals will only see 11 total returning starters suit up this season.

The magazine also identified a preseason offensive and defensive MVP for each district. District 11-4A features Trevor Moye from Shepherd and defensive lineman Diego Muniz of Bellville.

The Mustangs will begin district play on the road against Shepherd on Oct. 20. They will face the rest of the District over the next three weeks, which will conclude the regular season.

The first five games of the regular season will comprise of non-District opponents and begin against Diboll at Madisonville High School. The Mustangs will also host Caldwell and Lorena with road matchups taking place in Woodville, Crockett and Rusk.

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