Written by Corbett Smith
Spring football report: Mesquite Poteet out to prove last season was no fluke
Editor's Note: This is the first in a weekday series this month highlighting Dallas-area teams' spring practices.
Team: Mesquite Poteet
How the 2010 season ended: Poteet fell to the eventual Class 4A Division II champs Aledo, 29-22 in the semifinals, closing the chapter on its storybook 12-win season after going winless in 2009.
Key returning starters: Returning running back Steven Hicks -- the team’s leading rusher last season with 997 yards and 15 touchdowns on 191 carries -- will have to shoulder more of the offensive load after graduating nearly all of its passing attack. Poteet’s passing game accounted for 65 percent of yardage gained last season. Its defense looks solid, returning safety Chase Graham, linebacker and Tulsa commit Craig Suits, and linemen Silas Firstley (District 15-4A’s defensive MVP) and Preston Bass.
Biggest questions facing team: Will last year’s magical season be a blip or beginning? Coach Randy Jackson joined the Poteet program last spring from Lone Oak, and immediately started making changes designed to build some pride and spark some interest. The team hadn’t won a game the year before, going 1-19 over its previous two seasons, so Jackson got involved in renovating everything; even the helmet decal got changed. It worked. Poteet – behind stellar seasons by quarterback Beau Nowell and wide receivers Justin Velasquez and Courtland Crumby – finished in a three-way tie for first in a brutally tough District 15-4A, and beat state-ranked Highland Park and Whitehouse in the playoffs. Nowell, Velasquez and Crumby, though, are all gone. So, Jackson said, a new wave will have to take their place.
Juniors-to-be Tanner Ramsey (last year’s JV quarterback) and Deylan Jones (a transfer from Skyline) are expected to compete for the quarterback job. To fill out the receiving corps, Graham – an all-state safety last season – will get more offensive snaps, as will senior-to-be Greg Meek. Junior-to-be C.J. Collins and basketball player Reahmand Robertson also promising options at wide receiver. Offensive line might also be a question mark, with three spots open this spring.
Notables: Jackson said that a great benefit to last year’s successes is that students seem actively excited about the football team. Numbers out for football in the spring have jumped from 85 last year to 125 players.
He said it: “Last year, we worked to get the torch lit. Now, I told them that they are going to have to carry it.” – Jackson.
Spring football game info: May 16, 6:30 p.m. at Mesquite Memorial Stadium
Season Opener: vs. Royse City on 8-26
Full regular season schedule:
Aug. 26: vs. Royse City at 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 2: at Arlington Seguin (Wilemon Field) at 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 8: vs. Terrell at 7 p.m.
Sept. 16: at Red Oak at 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 23: vs. Forney at 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 30: at Corsicana at 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 7: vs. West Mesquite at 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 14: at Lancaster at 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 21: vs. Ennis at 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 4: at Waxahachie at 7:30 p.m.