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A strong finish in July is important for the Marble Falls football team before the start of training camp

With the beginning of fall training camp days away, the Marble Falls High School football is looking to finish the voluntary strength-and-conditioning program on positives.

The Mustangs will have one more week of voluntary sessions Monday-Thursday, July 25-28, and head coach Brian Herman has given incentives to his athletes for attending. The first is the choice of lockers on a first-come, first-served basis. The other is getting equipment assigned.

“If all goes well, we’ll be in the 120-plus range in grades 9-12,” he said of the projected number of football players for the 2022 season. “That’s 40 players apiece for varsity, junior varsity and freshmen. Not bad for a Class 4A program. Our senior class is small, but we’re loaded with juniors. We’re a heavy-junior class.”

Herman noted coaches plan on measuring the Mustangs through testing when they report for training camp, which starts at 6 a.m. Monday, Aug. 1, at Mustang Stadium, 2101 Mustang Drive. He added the attendance for the voluntary sessions has been steady and understands why some players haven’t been coming, which include lack of transportation, summer jobs and traveling. Herman said that when he played, he wasn’t always able to attend lifting sessions with his teammates either.

“My teammates and coaches trusted that I was coming back prepared,” he said. “It’ll be obvious of those who put in the work and who haven’t. The committed kids who we know of from all summer, we’re extremely excited. We have kids who are coming and putting in work before they go to work.”

Herman added he and his coaches will make sure players are ready for a grueling season and get in shape long before the kickoff in week one against Pflugerville Connally at 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 25, at The Pfield, 1440 W. Pecan St. in Pflugerville.

“I’m hoping that’s a small number,” he said. “We’ll see who can move on Aug. 3 or 4.”

Coaches and players know the challenge that awaits the Mustangs now that Marble Falls has moved into District 13-4A Division II with Burnet, Comal Canyon Lake, Comal Davenport, Lampasas and Taylor. Unlike much of the members of District 14-5A Division II, these Class 4A opponents have programs where athletes can develop on their own pace and won’t be looked at to fill a varsity roster when they may not be physically ready to. The good news is that while Marble Falls lost about 30 players to graduation in 2022, many reserves logged important minutes during the 2021 season. Herman is looking for that to pay off this season.

“It’ll be a challenge for us as a coaching staff to have a great game plan in place,” he said. “That part is exciting from a coach’s perspective.”

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