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By James McAfee
MUNDAY—The Munday Moguls face a formidable task in their effort to rebuild their winning tradition, but Coach Justin Josselet believes the returning players have a chance to end a three-year playoff drought.
“I like our chances if we can stay healthy,” Coach Justin Josselet said. “Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to do that in the past few seasons.”
Earlier, Josselet added that he and the fellow coaches have taken steps to place more emphasis on trying to stay healthy and prevent the injuries.
“Our first 11 look like varsity players for the first time in three seasons,” he said. “All of our main guys will be juniors and seniors, which levels the playing field for us.”
However, it could eventually wind up with the Moguls not having the necessary bench strength to be competitive unless there are no early injuries when it comes time for the start of District 6-2ADII in October.
Similar problems have occurred the last three seasons. Johnson said that when someone got hurt, the next guy up was a freshman, adding that this makes it difficult to compete against the more experienced players on the other teams.
The good news is that returning players have matured physically and gained a lot of experience. “When you have a group who have played quality reps against the good teams in our district, it’s eventually going to play dividends,” Josselet said.
Texas Football Magazine didn’t think the Moguls could finish in the top four and earn a spot in the playoffs, a similar occurrence during a 1-6 showing last season and in the two previous seasons in another district. A two-week hiatus from practice prior to the start of district for COVID reasons in 2020 didn’t help either.
The Archer City Wildcats, ranked 20th in the state, loom as the 6-2A favorites, mainly because of their quarterback Ty Bates, who accounted for 2,380 yards and 22 touchdowns during a 6-4 season where the Wildcats were eliminated, 56-22, in the area round by state champion Windthorst.
The Quanah Indians and the Seymour Panthers loom as the biggest threats to the Wildcats, but they must replace a lot of quality talent while the Olney Cubs are expected to get the final playoff spot. Electra again could face injuries problems because of lack of depth like they did last season.
However, Josselet still thinks the Moguls can be competive with all five schools and surprise a few people. Of course, if injuries do occur, then Josselet will have to rely on some younger guys to mature quickly before district starts.
Josselt believes that the Moguls could have some success early in non-district, especially in the opener against Iraan, winless last season. They then have games against schools with similar numbers, Shamrock, Crosbyton and Miles, before going up against a strong Petrolia team that advanced to the playoffs last season.
Josselet has the Moguls developing multiple offensive formations, using the I under center, shotgun and spread to try and get favorable matchups against defenses shown by opponents. The Moguls struggled offensively in 2020 and need to find ways to move the chains more often.
The likely starters in the backfield are Chris Garcia at quarterback, John Mark Cooke at fullback and Keon Taylor as the I back. Bryson Wilson will also see a lot of action.
Christian Hernandez will be the top receiver, but Garcia also a new target at tight end in Adin Loper, who transferred from Ira, “He can catch the ball, too,” Josselet added.
Nicholas Hernandez will operate under center with Kayton Shahan will be one of the guards. Josselet has plenty of size up front when the Moguls load up one side and run behind Corbin Rogers (270), Ethin Flye (250) and Justin Tidwell (230).
Corbin and Lopez will line up at defensive ends with Tidwell at nose guard in the 3-5-3 defensive alignment. Shahan, and Taylor will be at outside linebackers while Cooke will be in the middle. Joe Jasso, Junior Martinez and Hernandez will handle secondary duties.