Positive start for Friendswood crucial for 2021 season

FRIENDSWOOD — Last year's high school football season presented many challenges for area teams during the pandemic. As Friendswood approaches the 2021 season, the Mustangs need to reverse the start they experienced last season with an 0-3 start.

Friendswood head coach Robert Koopmann knows his gridiron warriors must reverse that start this year if his team is going to advance to the playoffs.

The Mustangs will face a tough non-district schedule that will set the tone for the 2021 football season. Here's a look at the teams that Friendswood will face.

Summer Creek Bulldogs

Friday, August 27 at 7:00 p.m.
Henry Winston Stadium

Summer Creek and Friendswood opened last season with a real heated contest from both teams, but the Bulldogs eventually pulled out a 49-21. However, the game was closer than the final score as the Bulldogs led 28-21 late in the third quarter. That's when Mustangs quarterback Luke Grden would go down with an ankle injure and Summer Creek would go on to score 21 unanswered points for the win.

Summer Creek will return six offensive and nine defensive starters with 30 lettermen from team that was 3-6 overall last year while missing the post-season.

The Bulldogs will be loaded this year with experience. They play in one of the toughest districts in the Houston area with powers North Shore, Atascocita, C.E. King, and Beaumont West Brook picked to be the playoff contenders with the Bulldogs a close fifth place finisher.

Offensively, the Bulldogs will have key players at quarterback, running back, and wide receiver as well as an outstanding offensive line as a strong foundation.

Junior QB Jahrik Jones led the JV to an 8-0 record while getting some playing time on varsity. RB Torrie Curry (5-10, 160, 4.5) had 507 yards rushing for 10 TDs while WR Andrew Alexander (5-11, 175, 4.5) had 29 catches for 603 yards and 10 scores. Both have speed to burn.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Bulldogs will be much stronger as they are led by DB Matai Thomas (5-10, 165, 4.5), DL Rocky Jack (5-11, 265), LB Julian Ortiz (6-1, 230), DL Justic Craft (6-0, 260), DB Paul Singleton, DB Darius Rainey, and DL Caden Rain.

Last season, Jack had 65 tackles and 6 sacks, Ortiz had 68 tackles and one sack while Craft had 55 tackles and three sacks.

Prediction: Friendswood 21 - Summer Creek 17

Clear Brook Wolverines

Friday, September 3, 7:00 p.m.
CCISD Veterans Memorial

The Clear Brook Wolverines had a tough 2020 season as they finished with a 4-6 mark and failed to make the playoffs. However, the Wolverines faced Friendswood last season and came away with a 31-7 victory against their cross-town rival.

There is no doubt that Friendswood would like to avenge last year's loss to the Wolverines as both teams have no trouble getting up for this contest.

The Wolverines return seven offensive and six defensive starters to go with 30 returning letterman which should put them in a strong position to return to the playoffs this season.

The offense has their skill people returning in QB Cameron McCalister (6-1, 155, 4.6) who threw for 1,986 yards and 12 TD's last year, RB Trent Lacy (5-10, 200, 4.7), and WR Nathan Barnett (6-0, 190, 4/6) who caught 24 passes for 471 yards and two TDs.

Other offensive players to watch are: Athlete Zyon Little (6-4, 205, 4.7) and WR Michael Lewis (5-9, 165, 4/6).

The Clear Brook defense should balance out the team as they will have a strong foundation on that side of the ball.

Leading the way is LB Ethan Guinn (5-7, 2-5. 4.8), DE John Baldwin (6-4, 221, 4.8), DB Colby McCalister (5-10, 180, 4.6), DL Jaden Wincher, DE Demarcus Thomas, and DB Jake Lopez.

Guinn had 50 tackles last year while McCalister had 28 tackles and 2 INTs and Baldwin registered 25 tackles and five sacks.

Prediction: Clear Brook 17 - Friendswood 14

Dobie Longhorns

Friday, September 10, 7:00 p.m.
Henry Winston Stadium

The Dobie Longhorns captured the District 22-6A crown last season with a 6-0 mark while advancing to the bi-district playoffs. The Horns posted a 9-1 record for 2020.

Dobie is a pre-season pick to finish in first place again and they should have another strong season with six offensive and four defensive starters returning with 25 lettermen.

QB Cameron Gray (5-11, 190) will lead the Wing-T offense after he threw for 1,678 yards and 18 TDs while rushing for 491 yards and five score last season.

The Horns have a pair of running backs in Jalen Baldwin (5-11, 180) and Trajan Davis and they will have a big offensive line to run behind led by OL Richard Gary (6-3, 330), and Dakarey Ramsey (6-1, 315).

Other offensive players that will contribute on that side of the ball include OL Mohamad Elghawi, OL Edward Lara, WR Joshua Rodriquez, and WR Brendon Williams (6-2, 215).

Dobie will also have a strong defense led by LB Nigel Hill (6-0, 210), DL Logan Riley (5-10, 220), DE Anthony Lee (6-0, 205), DL Jordan Barrett, DB Cory'On Mathews, DB Ryan Saxton, and LB Gabriel Chambliss.

Prediction: Dobie 28 - Friendswood 17

2021 Friendswood Mustangs Football Schedule

8/27/21     Fri.    Summer Creek     7:00 p.m.         Henry Winston Stadium 

9/3/21       Fri.    Clear Brook          7:00 p.m.         CCISD Veterans Memorial 

9/10/21     Fri.    Dobie                    7:00 p.m.         Henry Winston Stadium 

9/17/21     Fri.                    ---- OPEN ----

9/24/21     Fri.    *Baytown Lee       7:00 p.m.         Stallworth Stadium 

10/1/21     Fri.    *Baytown Sterling 7:00 p.m.         Henry Winston Stadium 

10/8/21     Fri.    *Beaumont United 7:00 p.m.        Beaumont ISD Memorial Stadium  

10/15/21   Fri.    *La Porte               7:00 p.m.        Bulldog Stadium 

10/22/21   Fri.    *GC Memorial       7:00 p.m.        Henry Winston Stadium 

10/29/21   Fri.    *Galveston Ball     7:00 p.m.        Courville Stadium 

11/5/21     Fri.    *PA Memorial        7:00 p.m.         Henry Winston Stadium

* District 9-5A Div. I games