Pigskin Preview: Midland Christian Mustangs
MIDLAND, Texas (KOSA) - Midland Christian’s 5-foot-10, 250-pound senior lineman Fikky Esan sets the tone for the Mustangs.
“When he pushes and encourages, people respond just because of who he is,” head coach Chris Cunningham said. “Just his leadership and his character. The integrity that he goes about doing things with.”
“They’re asking me to lead, but I see everyone leading,” Esan said. “That’s just kind of how Midland Christian is. But as a senior especially they look at you to provide that leadership role.”
Esan and the experienced defensive line will be counted on this season.
“I think it’s one of the strongest groups we’ve had in awhile,” Esan said. “We have five seniors who have been playing varsity since sophomore year.”
Behind them, senior Colten Newsom and junior Boston Rodriguez return at the safety spots.
“We have a lot of chemistry,” Rodriguez said. “We know the defense inside and out. We feel like we can lead that defense very well. Expect a lot of turnovers this year. A lot of big hits. A lot of excitement.”
Newsom is one of three options for the Mustangs at quarterback, along with Avery Morgan and Grant Muniz.
“We’re all good team players,” Newsom said. “It’s more about the team than one of us. We all have different spots on the field we’ll contribute at, and we’ll go from there.”
Whoever is at quarterback will be joined by a loaded running back group. Brylee Perez transferred in from Midland High, after starting for the Bulldogs last season. He teams with established Mustangs Keller Weathers and Gage Gunter.
“Oh we’ve got some dogs,” Esan said. “Three-headed monster there at running back. I think the offense we’ve put them in is gonna do great things for them.”
Midland Christian made it to the 2nd round of the playoffs last season. The Mustangs have won seven TAPPS state championships since 2000.
“If everyone is staying disciplined, on and off the field, that’s how you get there,” Newsom said. “That’s how you get to the state championships and the district championships. Everybody being disciplined.”
“They’ve earned the right to set that goal given their tradition,” Cunningham said, heading into his second season at MCS. “But it’s not that goal that’s gonna get you there. It’s being there everyday for practice. Lifting up our brothers when they’re having a tough day. Those are the goals you’ve gotta reach on a daily basis if you’re gonna reach that big one.”
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