Friendswood ready for home opener against Dayton


FRIENDSWOOD — The Dayton Broncos will arrive at Henry Winston Stadium on Friday, August 30 hungry for a win since they were 0-10 last year which isn't typical of a Dayton team.

Trailing 20-19 in the fourth period, the Mustangs h ad to score 15 unanswered points late in the game to pull out a 33-20 victory in Dayton, but Friendswood head coach Robert Koopmann hopes the game isn't that this year..

“Our team chemistry seems like it’s already gelling, and Friendswood teams win that way," Koopmann said. "Friendswood teams win by great team chemistry, out-working people, and being really good football players. When you put all that together, that’s when we’re successful."

Friendswood will look to their defense, led by LB Dane Roenne and seven additional returning starters, to set the tone early this season.

The offense should be fine with four returning starters led by junior quarterback Luke Grden. Grden, who has been starting since the latter part of his freshman season. That’ll mean airing the ball out as much as possible, and in order to be successful, it will take a combination of strong pass protection and quick decisions from Grden.

“I’m not sure we took full advantage of Luke Grden’s skill-set last year, so we’re going to be throwing the ball around," Koopmann said. "It’ll all hinge on protecting and Luke getting rid of the ball, but we’re going back to Friendswood from 10 years ago. The ball is going to be in the air quite a bit.”

Grden’s top target will be big-bodied receiver Christian Lee, a North Texas commit who can line up all over the field — including as a wildcat quarterback. Other receiving options will include John McCabe and Dawson Johnson. A young, athletic O-line will be anchored by returning starter Ryan Mitchell.

Friendswood fans need to invade Henry Winston Stadium in support of this year's team that is looking to get back to the post-season.

The Mustangs went 3-4 in District 10-5A Div. I action last season which is considered the toughest 5A district in the state. Friendswood failed to make the post-season for the first time under head coach Robert Koopmann who took over the helm of the football program in 2012.

The pre-season 5A state rankings has three of the 10-5A Div. I teams listed in the top 15. Richmond Foster, who is the favorite to win the league title, is No. 3 in the state while Shadow Creek is listed as No. 5, and Angleton is ranked No. 14.

Shadow Creek is the defending district champion and went 15-1 in 2018. They fell to Highland Park in the 5A Div. I state title game.

The goal for the Mustangs this season is to get back in the playoffs and compete for a district title.