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Magnolia West fielded another solid football squad in 2016, and the season started off very promising.

After a season-opening win at home over Klein Forest, they went on the road and upset Navasota late in a stunner. At that point, Magnolia West went up and Navasota went down.

The Mustangs then throttled Bryan before starting district at Brenham. In that game at Cub Stadium, Magnolia West held a 20-7 lead at the half and a touchdown lead in the fourth quarter. With a penalty keeping a Magnolia West drive alive, the Mustangs threw an interception in the end zone that was returned 107 yards by Brenham for a touchdown.

Brenham scored again late and held on for a 27-23 win, outscoring the Mustangs 20-3 in the second half on homecoming night. Brenham wound up second in district, while Magnolia West finished third.

Magnolia West went 7-3 in regular season and lost a heartbreaker to Pflugerville Connally, 34-33, in the 5A Bi-district round.

The Mustangs lost a lot of talented players, but coach JD Berna should find the right replacements.

Key Losses

RB Trey McGrew, DE Dustin Parmely, DB Myles Jones

Trey McGrew rushed for 75 yards per game and had 22 touchdowns in 2016. Parmely and Jones were key parts of the Mustangs defense that allowed fewer than 19 points per game.

Key Returners

OL Stephen Nevarez, LB Joel Hiettikko, DE Jared Soyring

Nevarez stood out on the football field. On a stage where guys are big, he was usually the biggest at 6-5, 285 pounds.

Soyring returns on defense along with linebackers Hiettikko and junior Rusty Bertrand. The JV team had several big players who’ll move up to varsity this season.

The Verdict

The offense loses firepower, but the defense returns two linebackers and a rangy defensive end in Soyring.

The season opens at Klein Forest before getting a pretty good Navasota squad at home. Then there’s a trip to Ross Rogers’ Bryan Vikings before opening district at home against Brenham.

Magnolia must travel to crosstown rival and preseason favorite Magnolia on Oct. 20.

The Mustangs should have what it takes to get back into the state playoffs for the seventh consecutive season.


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