Countdown to kickoff: Mansfield Legacy Broncos

Posted Sunday, Aug. 10, 2014  comments  Print Reprints
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Mansfield Legacy

District 14-5A

Last season: 10-3 (5-2 in District 15-4A)

Key players: DL Taaj Bakari (6-3, 295), S David Hinkle (5-11, 190), S Braxton Thomas (5-11, 185), WR Gentry Ivery (6-2, 190), QB Sheldon Hogan (5-10, 175)

The big picture: For a defensive-minded program, it’s always a pleasant surprise when it returns plenty of players on the defensive side of the ball, especially when one is one of the top defensive linemen in the area. Senior Taaj Bakari, an Oklahoma State commitment, anchors Mansfield Legacy’s defense with not only strong play, but leadership as well. “He’s a leader and worked very, very hard, and he should be very solid for us in the middle and hopefully make it harder to run the ball against us,” Legacy coach Chris Melson said. Bakari and his teammates on the line have helped to bring this team together over the off-season for an even more unified unit than they boasted last season. Through post-workout swimming parties, Legacy’s defensive players have created an us-against-the-world mentality that they hope will bring added success this season. On offense, Legacy returns its second-best receiver from last season in Gentry Ivery, who pulled in 10 catches for 187 yards. “He’s a really explosive kid and runs the ball well when he catches it. We’re going to try to get the ball to him as much as possible,” Melson said. Legacy’s quarterback situation is also stable with the return of Sheldon Hogan, who successfully navigated Legacy through the playoffs after Terrance Ivery was injured.

Quotable: “We’ve got to develop an offensive line. We worked really hard on the off-season and spring on that, so hopefully we’re getting that underway so our guys can take off.” — Legacy coach Chris Melson

“Everybody realized that everybody in DFW thinks that we’re just a one-time team and that we got lucky that we had all those athletes last year. They think that we can’t do anything this year, so that really bonded us.” — Legacy defensive lineman Taaj Bakari

Notable: Legacy made school history last year by advancing to regional semifinals of the playoffs for the first time.

— Travis L. Brown

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