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The Muleshoe football team huddles together during its Meet the Mules event Aug. 7. 

Provided by Muleshoe ISD

Muleshoe is looking to play free and open football this season as the team enters its fourth season under Jason Richards.

“Our kids put in the time this summer and they’re flying around now, executing and being very coachable,” Richards said.

Many of the freshman that entered the program in Richard’s first year are now seniors with a full three years of experience under the head coach’s system. Some of those now seniors include two-time all-district running back Daniel Sianez along with a bevy of talent returning on the Muleshoe offensive and defensive fronts. One senior in particular Richards is excited about is Sebastian Kirven who has been a Swiss army knife for the Mules.

“In my opinion, he is one of the best football players in West Texas,” Richards said. “He’s playing tight end for us. He’s playing quarterback for us. He’s playing running back for us. He plays defensive end and he’s just a force. He had an unbelievable season last season and I think he’s a college football player.”

The Mules finished 8-5 last season, entering the playoffs advancing to the area round after a miraculous comeback bi-district win. Muleshoe lost a few impactful seniors on both sides of the ball including Eastern New Mexico University signee Davian McMullen who led the team in tackles. Along with him, Muleshoe’s top pass-catchers Irvin Torres and Eliasar Cisneros both graduated as well, leaving some holes to fill in the skill position area.

To help fill the gap of the skill positions, junior quarterback Nathan Martens is returning for his second year under center. He will help lead a newer skill position group that will see some shuffling around from a year ago. Junior Yahir Quezada is play a big role for the Mules as Richards expects him to fill the slot wide receiver position left by Torres who led the Mules in receiving last season. Along with him expect Kirven to step up in a bigger receiving role and a other new names to find roles in the offense.

Defensively, Richards will return two-year starter Aaron Morales who will take over the mike linebacker position. Richard’s past two linebackers in that position both went on to play collegiate football and he has high hopes Morales can be just as good if not better.

“Aaron Morales is probably the strongest kid I’ve ever coached,” Richards said confidently. “We test in bench, squat, incline and power clean and he totaled almost 1500 pounds in those four lifts. He’s going to be a really good player.”

The Mules also return their top cornerback Ramsey Martinez who totaled five interceptions last season as well as senior Noah Cantu who was second on the team in tackles.

Muleshoe’s schedule this season is very similar to the year prior with familiar non-district opponents Lamesa, Friona, Tulia, Abernathy and Brownfield. This season the one major difference is the opening game where the Mules will take on Littlefield. With some new faces on both sides of the ball, Richards stated that this year’s non-district games will play a bigger role than ever to prepare the Mules for a tough district schedule.

The Mules finished third in district a year ago and are projected to finish in that same position again this year according to Dave Campbell’s preseason picks. While the goal of making the playoffs and a deep run is always the goal, the Mules are setting daily goals to become better for that moment of truth.

“You got to go day by day. Everybody has expectations of one another, but we’re going to focus on executing at everything that we do,” Richards said.  “We talked about it all spring and if we execute, we have a chance to win.”

Ma'Rico Holland II

Muleshoe Journal

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