Mansfield High graduated very heavy last season - and with all the new high schools, Mansfield High has been left as an afterthought. A couple of years ago when they were thought to be a bad team, they played a lot of teams closer than they expected. The same could be true this year. Talent can go only so many ways in Mansfield, and the Tigers may be the odd team out this season. The players they do have coming back are pretty salty.
The focus this season will likely be around the tailback, Stephan Taylor. He has played for two seasons now and he is one of the better running backs in the area. Mansfield may choose to hitch a saddle on his back and run him 30 times out of the Spread Formation - especially with young QB Daniel Green. If he can develop - the team could be very dangerous offensively. His best receiver is Logan Hodges. The offense has the chance to be very good.
Defensively, the team will be changing systems and will have to learn new assignments. This could ultimatley be the weakness of the team. The defensive line graduated heavy, but a pretty nice player to have in the middle of the field is Winston Dossman. At middle linebacker, he sees the field very well and plays smart football. His athletic ability isn't so bad either. The secondary will be young and as with Arlington Lamar - could be the downfall of the team. Matt Childers leads the team at free safety.
With only a 7 team district, if Mansfield can pull out three wins, it can make a surprise run to the playoffs. Expectations are set high after last season. The bad news is - I don't think they get any higher than sixth. I think it is a 5 horse race for the 4 playoff spots and Mansfield would have to pull upset after upset. I wouldn't be surprised to see them play close against a team like Arlington Martin - a team it matches up very well against, but it should be a down year for the Tigers.