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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.
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.
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.
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.