Every Grapevine fan should have sent thank-you cards to the University Interscholastic League after the Feb. 3 realignment. The Mustangs have touched down in a very favorable district (6-5A) where making the playoffs seems to be certain.
Of course, new head coach Randy Jackson won’t allow that kind of talk anywhere in his locker room. But deep down, he and his coaching staff probably know they have an opportunity to play in mid-November. The overall record may not be flashy, but it won’t have to be. All this program has to do is win the right three or four games.
Every football team needs to find a core of players who will help them get there. So here are the five most important players who can help Grapevine return to the postseason following a two-year absence.
Sam Barry, QB – The senior just oozes with confidence right now. Plus, he has his future set as he just verbally committed to the United States Air Force Academy to play football. By no means has Barry have complete command of the offense.
But he has a sense of the base plays and making sure people are in the right position. He also handled the ups and downs of spring football like a professional. At 6-3, 185 and possessing a high football IQ, the most important thing the Mustangs can do is keep him healthy.
Brandon Coffin, CB – This senior really emerged as a playmaker in the spring. What Jackson liked about him was that he already had a pretty good grasp of the concepts involving the secondary in the 3-4.
Coffin has prototypical high school size for cornerback (5-10, 180) and could possibly emerge as a captain for this unit, if not this team, once the season begins. What you don’t know is what kind of playmaker he could become.
Brandon Friedrichs, OL – The good news is that when Dave Henigan moved up to Denton Ryan, he left behind two very important offensive line pieces between Friedrichs and Jace Ewing.
Really, these two are the anchors of the offensive line. Each is 6-4 and 240. Each can move and offer a little more stability to protect Barry in the pocket or open running lanes for whoever becomes the starting running back.
Bryan Andrews, DT – He may not be that big, but all you have to know about Andrews (6-0, 200) is that he’s tough. Andrews competed at the Class 5A state wrestling tournament in February.
Defensive tackles must have exceptional strength to plug holes and create lanes for linebackers to come through. If Andrews comes to camp weighing more than 200 (maybe 210-215) and still has his quickness, then he’s even more dangerous.
Maddox Middaugh, WR – The junior really couldn’t go through a complete spring because of an undisclosed injury. Middaugh didn’t engage in contact drills. But in the drills he could run, this staff really liked him.
The Grapevine coaches already know what they have in the other wide receiver in Ralphlauren McCauley. But another solid target in Middaugh could give Barry two intriguing targets.
The beauty of projections is just that. Someone else could emerge that makes an unexpected impact. That could be discovered when fall camp begins on Aug. 11.