CAPTION: The Marble Falls Mustangs rely on an offensive line known for strength, poise and determination in order to execute the Slot-T offense to its fullest. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro
The Marble Falls High School football team has one more tune-up left before it begins the 2023 season.
Marble Falls welcomes Leander High Friday, Aug. 18, to Mustang Stadium, 2101 Mustang Drive. The subvarsity plays at 5 p.m. and the varsity follows at 7 p.m. The first part will be a controlled scrimmage, meaning each team’s offensive units will receive multiple plays no matter the down or distance. The scrimmage will have two live quarters at the end.
Head coach Brian Herman noted the Lions have around 1,000 more student than Marble Falls, so he is bracing to see an opponent featuring multiple players who stand 6 feet or taller.
“They’ll have a lot of fresh legs, and they run a very different system than (Leander) Glenn,” he said. “They have a quick passing game. They want to set you up and take a deep shot. They throw it around quite a bit. They’ll run a quick screen a couple of different times. It’s going to be a very different style of play.”
Herman said coaches are continuing their evaluations and are still determining starters and reserves. Therefore, he added, plays will be called with a mix of different athletes with the aim of getting answers.
“We have some question marks,” he said. “We’re working on trying to fix the miscues from last week. We have eight weeks to figure out who our players are.”
That includes two scrimmages, five non-district games and the bye week. By the time the Mustangs welcome Fischer Canyon Lake, the District 13-4A Division I champion, Oct. 6, Herman and his staff will know the players’ roles and how their talents can best help the team. Therefore, the play calling against Leander will be made because coaches want to see specific athletes in specific roles, even if running that play in that situation is puzzling.
The Mustangs spent its Aug. 12 practice undergoing a team building exercise at Highland Lakes Camp and Conference, which has obstacles that help organizations become closer. Months earlier coaches and players went there to pick up branches and other debris, clean rooms and help guests load and unload their vehicles.
“It was something we talked about doing last year,” Herman said. “We developed a little bit of a partnership with the Highland Lakes Camp and Conference. On the Rick Edwards Day of Service, we helped with clean-up. We mopped up floors and picked up trash. They told us ‘you’ve done so much work. We’d love for you to come back and get something.'”
That something was using the morning to try new obstacles that helped develop trust and deepen the bonds on the team.
Before starting the obstacles, coaches divided the players into different groups of different ages and positions. Herman said that helped ensure athletes got to know one another as they worked together. They attempted to walk on logs, built a bridge with 2×4 lumber, and other obstacles using weights. The last event of the day was climbing the towers that are over the Hexapond. The seniors led this but if one chose not to do it, he could appoint an underclassman to take his place. The best part, Herman said, is that all the players eventually ended up in the Hexapond.
“The big thing is the kids grew closer together,” the coach said. “It was totally geared to get them out of their comfort zone. It will be one of their bet memories, something they will not forget. I did hear from a parent that their kid couldn’t stop talking and laughing about it. It brought them joy. I think it was a nice shape-up for us.”
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