Mineral Wells has a new loop - so they, in theory, should be more competitive. Several years back, Mineral Wells was able to make the playoffs, and they hope that the new district set-up could do the same. Although Aledo will be a tough team and Birdville has been battle tested, with four playoff spots, Coach Bourquin's Rams have to certainly have the attitude - Why not us? Although they went 1-9 last season and the JV didn't do much better, 7 starters return, and a young freshman group give this squad hope for the future.
Sophomores could be the key - as mentioned, the Freshman team went 10-7-1 between the two teams and played some very good teams. By the middle of the season, this team could be very sophomore heavy. Tanner Tuggle, the senior, will step in at quarterback. He got some time in last year, and Mosses Menchaca is slated to be the team's running back. He also returns. The continuity of having the returning tailback and quarterback should help the youngsters a lot. The offensive line looks okay returning Zach Peacock and Shawn Hopkins. The sophomores that may contribute to the veer oriented team are Robert Skloss on the line, and speedy Tamarcus Carter.
Three sophomores will be asked to start immediately on the defensive side of the ball. Matt Grimes is a pretty good sized kid on the line - but he will have to mature into his role. Colton Boyd has great potential at the linebacker position. Eric Gonzales played with Matt Grimes on the line last year - and they look to make the leap to varsity together. Senior leadership will have to be provided by Dylan Bowen and Edie Davila - as only two senior starters return from last season's abysmal performance. They will have to work hard to keep optimism high in Ram-land.
The community will be excited about the new stadium that will premiere next season - it will complement a district of new stadiums featuring Aledo's, Saginaw's, and to a certain degree, Birdville's. The community should take pride in the new stadium and help support their team. I think Mineral Wells will be just on the outside of the playoff race, but I believe they will be playing with a chance to make the playoffs come Week 9 and 10. Coach Bourquin has won everywhere he has been, and now with a competitive district, Coach Bourquin is probably one more season away from making the playoffs. Look for the team to get back to .500 and back to respectability - and next season - the playoffs.