Coming off a 3-7 season last year, Coach Barry Campbell and his staff are hoping for a better result in the 2015 season. It is no secret that Kingwood has one of the toughest schedules in the Houston area, with 8 of 10 teams on their schedule making the post-season in 2014. (Only Summer Creek and Conroe did not).
Kingwood struggled to find the end zone in 2014 due to their inexperience at the Quarterback position. Although the Mustangs offense averaged 23 points a game, they failed to score in crucial moments late in games. Quarterbacks Owen Baker and Randall Graves graduated in the Spring of 2015 but Dawson Trudell has multiple starts under his belt heading into his Junior season. Trudell will likely be the starter for the Mustangs in 2015, Trudell’s multiple starts provide him with the varsity experience that the Mustangs QB’s lacked in 2014.
TCU commit Sewo Olonilua, versatile back Griffin Lay, and balanced back Damon Young all return for their senior seasons. The running game has never been a problem for Kingwood. However, they gained most of their yards on the ground last season. Dalton Dvorak returns as Kingwood’s go-to guy at the Wide Receiver position, giving the run game a bit of breathing room. The Mustangs return most of their tough guys up front on their massive offensive line. Columbia commit Parker Coogan headlines the returning letterman followed by Luke Vaughters, Alec Cruseturner, and Zach Alexander. The Mustangs offense will certainly need to play sharp and limit the turnovers if they want to have any chance at the post season.
The defense for Kingwood allowed nearly 30 points per game in the 10 games played in 2014 but they’re confident they’ll get those numbers down in 2015. Luckily for the Mustangs, most of the defense is returning as well. Benn Beckelman, Dillon Shotwell, and Braedon ‘Bobcat’ Furlough on the defensive line pose a threat to any opposing team’s run game, using their experience and athleticism to their advantage. Also returning on the defensive side of the ball, Linebackers Spencer Goodman and Conner Gregerson, both had tremendous seasons last year.
S Sewo Olonilua could also see some playing time at the OLB position early on in non-district play. A young defensive secondary proved to be the weakness of last year’s teams giving up big plays to teams like Katy, Summer Creek, and Atascocita. Josh Slayton, Sewo Olonilua, and Griffin Lay are some of the big named players most likely to get the start in the secondary. Coach Campbell has brought up young players like Cole Preston and Nolan Powell to help out and try and reduce the number of big plays given up through the air.
Kingwood is one of the more talented teams in District 16-6A and after last year’s missed playoff attempt and losing to rival Atascocita for a second straight year, the Mustangs have something to prove heading into the August 27th matchup with the Katy Tigers. The Mustangs can finish the season in the top half of the district if the defense can reduce the amount of points scored from last season and if the offense can convert on big plays using the passing game.
Story by Gabe Henderson