By Mike Graham
Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, Texas
Lee Walker comes to Muleshoe after serving as Plainview’s defensive coordinator and takes over for state championship-winning coach David Wood.
Muleshoe will try to bounce back from an up-and-down year with a stronger record than 5-7, but the squad still managed to reach the area round of the Class 3A Division I playoffs and returns experience at 13 different positions.
Luke Del Torro developed into one of District 2-3A Division I’s top passers last season and is back for more as a senior. He’ll be surrounded by six other players who made up a unit that averaged 26 points per game toward a tied-for-second finish in the grouping last year.
The Mules’ defensive front is expected to be stout, as well.
Linebacker Corbin Hardwick and Julian Astorga were major contributors last season and return.
Muleshoe will get a test in Week 2 against a New Deal team with more than its fair share of talent, as well as an Idalou team in Week 5 that enters the season hoping to be the area’s bounce back team of 2018.
PLAYER TO WATCH
HT/WT: 5-10, 155
Of Note: Hardwick has the versatility to play linebacker or defensive back. He made 134 tackles last year.
Head Coach: Lee Walker (first-year)
2017 Record: 5-7
Basic Offense: Spread
Basic Defense: Multiple
Last Playoff Appearance: 2017
Returning Lettermen: 19
Top Returners: Luke Del Toro, Corbin Hardwick, Moises Vasquez
Aug. 31 Dalhart 7 p.m.
Sept. 7 at New Deal 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 14 Friona 7 p.m.
Sept. 21 at Brownfield 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 28 at Idalou 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 12 Littlefield 7 p.m.
Oct. 19 at Shallowater 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 26 River Road 7 p.m.
Nov. 2 Slaton 7 p.m.
Nov. 9 at Bushland 7:30 p.m.
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