Tag: Sweetwater Mustangs

BCP GAME OF THE WEEK: ‘Jackets dominate Sweetwater in opener

STEPHENVILLE — One club met its preseason expectations. The other left with something to build on. 

Bolstered by a 30-0 second-half run, the Stephenville Yellow Jackets put away Sweetwater, 51-13 in Friday’s Big Country Preps Game of the Week — spoiling the debut of new Mustang coach Russell Lucas,

Ryder Lambert threw for 214 yards and three scores and rushed for two others to lead Stephenville (1-0), which took control of the game with three unanswered touchdowns and a safety in the third quarter.

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GAME STORY: Sweetwater overcomes slow start to top Snyder 12-2, claim first district title

SWEETWATER — With their first-ever district championship in softball on the line, the Sweetwater Lady Mustangs had enough poise to overcome a rocky start against area rival Snyder, dropping the Lady Tigers 12-2 in five innings on Tuesday. 

Elliannia Perez tossed a complete game and freshman Kendall Daniel was 3 for 3 with a homer, double and five RBIs to lift Sweetwater (16-8-1, 9-0), which locked up the league title by rallying from an early 2-0 deficit. 

Snyder slipped to 10-16 overall and 5-4 with the loss. The Lady Tigers were led by Myia and Aaliyah Braziel, who were 2 for 3 and 2 for 2, respectively. 

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Evan Ren’s 2021 Gym Rat Team: The toughest, hardest-working teammates in the Big Country

While scoring and rebounding garner much of the attention in basketball, there are other elements, crucial to success, that seldom grab headlines. 

Behind the scenes is where character, effort and sacrifice set the foundation for teams to reach their full potential. And it is with our Big Country Preps Gym Rat Team that we salute the individuals who bring these elements to the table. 

This team isn’t about who the best players are — though some of the area’s top players are on this list. 

The Gym Rat Team is about outworking, outhustling and outgiving everyone around you, both on the floor and off. Hard-working, honest, selfless, tough, coachable kids are what we seek for this roster. 

A Gym Rat Team member can be your best player or the last player off the bench. But the one thing all of them bring is an uncompromisingly good attitude. 

It is for that reason that our Gym Rat Team is selected entirely by area coaches. And Big Country Preps is truly honored to present these individuals to you — the best “team players” (boys and girls) that the area had to offer during the 2020-21 season.

Players are listed in no particular order. 


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BCP GAME OF THE WEEK: Sweetwater stops Greenwood in overtime classic

SWEETWATER — In recent years, the Sweetwater Mustangs haven’t been associated with winning through defense in the trenches. 

Yet that’s exactly what they did on Friday, knocking off Midland Greenwood 36-30 in overtime in a classic Big Country Preps Game of the Week. 

Leo Holsey threw for 222 yards, rushed for 94 and accounted for four touchdowns to lead Sweetwater (5-1, 2-0 District 1-4A DII), which can now lock up a league title if it beats Pecos on the road next week.  Holsey scored the game winner, pushing his way into the end zone on a 4-yard quarterback sneak in overtime. 

But it was the Sweetwater defense that came up with some of the game’s biggest plays, including a fumble recovery and score by Harrison Foster in the first quarter, a 56-yard pick-6 by Foster in the second quarter, and two short-yardage stops on fourth down  that killed potential scoring drives in the fourth quarter and overtime. 

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BIG COUNTRY PREPS GAME OF THE WEEK: Sweetwater hosts Greenwood in huge district clash (w/ Evan Ren’s Big Country picks)

LAST WEEK: 29-5, .853
SEASON TOTAL: 217-60, .783

Every district has key games you can spot weeks in advance. And every season has games that are worth circling on the calendar.

Friday will bring us to the Mustang Bowl in Sweetwater for exactly that — a crucial district 1-4A DII showdown between SHS (4-1, 1-0) and Midland Greenwood (3-2, 1-0) with the driver’s seat in the league race at stake.

Big Country Preps has something at stake as well, with me having picked Sweetwater to win district prior to the season, when most of the media had chosen Greenwood.

I’m either right or I’m not. And this is likely to be the game which proves it, either way. 

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FEATURE: Sweetwater’s Holsey growing into quarterback role

SWEETWATER — Two years ago, Sweetwater’s Leo Holsey was plenty nervous and with good reason. 

Out of necessity he had been named as Sweetwater’s starting quarterback as a skinny, 5-foot-8 145-pound freshman, who was a year removed from playing middle school football. 

The leap was enormous, both in terms of speed and sophistication. But Holsey was thrown into the fire, surrounded by several teammates who were either freshman or sophomores. 

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FEATURE: Former Clyde, Sweetwater coach Craig Slaughter enjoying role as Wall DC

WALL — When Craig Slaughter’s name is brought up in Big Country football circles, it is often associated with a memorable run of success as the former Clyde football coach enjoyed when he led the Bulldogs to a 23-12 mark and one district title from 2006 to 2008.

His stint at CHS led to jobs at larger schools at Sweetwater (2009-11) and Llano (2012-17), after which many Big Country fans simply lost track of what had happened to the man. 

He is, for the record, currently the defensive coordinator at Wall under head coach Houston Guy, where he is heading up a Hawk defense that has shut down powerhouses from Mason (47-7) and Cisco (20-13) in the first two weeks. 

“I’ve really enjoyed the experience,” the 46-year-old Slaughter said of taking the job offer from his long-time friend, Guy. “When you’re leading a program, you get blamed for so much stuff that you really have nothing to do with, from who’s on the seventh-grade B team to the plays the seventh grade ran on a Thursday night. 

“So (assistant coaching) is a load off your shoulders from the pressure you feel and put on yourself.”

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GAME STORY: Big Spring edges Sweetwater in twice-interrupted thriller (photo gallery to come late tonight)

SWEETWATER — Through 3½ hours, two lightning delays and five jams that saw runners in scoring position, Big Spring right-hander Maddie Daniels somehow managed the outward appearance of being calm in Friday’s game at Sweetwater. 

That was for the benefit of her teammates. 

On the inside, she was anything but relaxed as she battled through a marathon 4-3 win over their District 5-4A rival. 

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Reload or rebuild? Sweetwater faces question in 2018

After a four-year stretch that rendered 48 wins, including 11 playoff victories and a trip to the 2016 Class 4A Division II state title game, it’s time to reload in Sweetwater.

On the heels of a prolonged talent wave, the Mustangs bring back just 15 lettermen and two starters on each side of the ball in 2018, testing the the strength and staying power of a resurgent Sweetwater program.

Holding the pencil for that exam will be second-year coach Ben McGehee, who knows he’s in for a challenge after leading the Mustangs to a 10-3 season last year in his Sweetwater debut.

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Young Sweetwater Mustangs look to keep run going

After graduating 23 seniors off last year’s 10-3 team, second-year Sweetwater coach Ben McGehee knows his roster will look a little different in 2018. But don’t think for a minute that he or his Mustangs will be ceding District 1-4A Division II to any of their league mates.

It’s true that Sweetwater returns just 15 lettermen — tied with Pecos for the smallest number in the district. And yes, the Mustangs will be filling a number vacant spots with members of a 3-7 junior varsity team and a fair number of freshmen and sophomores.

But McGehee insists his squad will be ready to compete by the time district play rolls around.

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BCP Podcast No. 7: Evan, Dan talk football with Wichita Falls’ Zach Duncan

Zach Duncan

Like Big Country Preps co-founders Evan Ren and Daniel Youngblood, Wichita Falls Time Record News area writer Zach Duncan has been covering high school sports in his market for a long time.

Entering his 15th football season with the Wichita Falls newspaper, Duncan has seen more great games than he can count and worked with some outstanding coaches and players. This week, he took some time to share some his favorite football stories and talk shop with Evan and Daniel.

Also in this episode, Evan and Daniel discuss District 3-3A Division I and District 7-2A Division II — two all-area leagues that should be competitive from top to bottom.