Madisonville returns five starters on offense and four starters on defense to a team hungry to get back to the playoffs.
Tailback Dontae Crist returns off a solid junior season and will carry the load on offense. Don Roundtree and Jailyn Smith are the top contenders at quarterback this season, and will have some good weapons to work with in Crist and receivers Grant Smith and Eric Aceves. Tight end Collin Peveto will get more looks this season as well. “He has great hands,” head coach Greg Morgan said. “We will try to get more passes thrown to him this year.” Some young players will need to step up and fill some holes on the line, as center Dalton Gilbert is the only returning starter.
The secondary will be looked to for leadership on defense, as three of four starters are back, including Brent McCloud at corner and Aceves and Smith at safety. Linebacker Damien Whaley is the leader on defense and looks to improve upon an all-district junior season.
The Mustangs have a shot at starting strong with two home games to open the season before three straight on the road. The district opener at Navasota will be tough, as will the home district opener against Rockdale. The Mustangs do have a new UIL rule working in their favor, however, as now four teams from each district will get into the playoffs in Class 3A. Taking care of business at home should be enough to get the Mustangs back in the playoffs in 2013.