High School Sports

Countdown to kickoff: Grapevine


District 6-5A

Coach: Dave Henigan

Last season: 3-7 (2-5 in district), missed playoffs

Key players: WR/RB Austin Parker (6-2, 195); QB Adam Sandy (6-0, 185); LB/RB Drake Adair (5-11, 190); DT Victor Auxenfans (6-0, 245); DT Junior Onyenah (6-2, 285); WR/TE Marcus Dempsey (6-3, 240); OL Cody Logan (5-9, 265); DL Jake Bachand (6-2, 225)

The big picture: Grapevine had its first losing season in four years in 2012, which did not sit well with coach Dave Henigan and the Mustangs. Although Grapevine only returns eight starters (four on offense and four on defense), Henigan is convinced that his team is in better shape than it was last season because of its attitude. “Things are very high-energy and enthusiasm is strong,” Henigan said. “It’s a positive environment, and I think that the biggest difference from last season is the buy-in from our kids. We have good chemistry and the atmosphere is good.” The Mustangs will run a multiple spread offense with dual threat Austin Parker (263 yards receiving, 11.4 yards per reception, 303 yards rushing) leading the way, and a 3-4 defense, with Victor Auxenfans and Junior Onyenah anchoring a large and seasoned defensive line. Grapevine lost to Irving and Irving MacArthur last year by a combined seven points, which helped keep the Mustangs out of the playoffs.

Quotable: “This is a tough district, and for us to make the playoffs, we are going to have to win close ballgames. The years we make the playoffs, we win the close games. The years we don’t win the close ones, we don’t make the playoffs.” — Coach Dave Henigan

“We are definitely farther ahead going into the season than we were last year. We’ve got a lot more excitement. I think we have a lot more guys that are bought in and focused on our main goal, which is winning.” — WR/RB Austin Parker

Notable: Grapevine has qualified for the postseason four of the last seven years but has only one playoff win: a 36-30 defeat of Flower Mound in 2006.

— John English