There is a bit of a power struggle in Division II Class 6A, which is wide-open for any team to get hot, make a deep run, and eventually capture a state title.
Pencil Spring Westfield in as a contender in your bracket. While a potential big matchup against Klein Collins and perhaps a semifinal meeting with the aforementioned DeSoto loom, Westfield has that “it” factor.
The Mustangs are coming off an undefeated season, highlighted by Friday’s win over Aldine Davis that locked up an outright 16-6A district title.
“District titles aren’t easy to come by,” said Head Coach Matt Meekins. “They are a lot of fun. We hadn’t really talked a lot about winning a district title. We just looked at the next game. I’m really proud of our coaches and the team.”
Meekins took over as head coach at Westfield a couple of years ago when his brother, Corby, made the jump to the collegiate ranks — he joined Tom Herman at Houston and eventually Texas.
Under Meekins, Westfield has played some of the most disciplined football in the state. Despite some growing pains on the offensive side of the ball, the unit is finally meeting Meekins’ expectations’ thanks to underclassmen like quarterback Terrance Gipson and running back Rayshawn James.
“The offense has been gradually getting better each week,” Meekins added. “We struggled in the district opener with turnovers, but then it all started clicking for us. We’re getting things going at the right time.”
And that’s obviously good news for the Mustangs. If the offense can keep putting it together, the defense will take care of the rest.
After all, Westfield is giving up just 8.2 points per game and posted three shutouts.
“It’s exciting because we can just go for it on some fourth downs,” Meekins said with a laugh. “We trust our defense. We forced five turnovers against North Shore. We turned it over six times in the district opener, and our defense helped us win that one. They’ve been great.”
The Mustangs have plenty of talented pieces on the defensive side of the ball, but none bigger — literally — than mammoth defensive tackle Keondre Coburn.
The 6-foot-1, 330-pound behemoth recorded six tackles and two sacks on Friday night and has been on a rampage all season. Coburn often commands double and triple teams that allows his teammates to make plays.
“Like they say, defense wins championships,” Coburn said. “We practice really hard and when we get on the field, we play even harder. Our defense is our team, man. We put so much into this.”
For Coburn, this season means everything to him. Sure, he’ll be off to play for the Longhorns next year. But his senior season was almost ripped away from him when Hurricane Harvey caused severe floods in the Houston-area.
Coburn was actually rescued on a boat and Westfield’s highly anticipated opener against Houston Lamar was canceled. Meekins said Coburn has stepped up as a true leader since the team finally came together in early September.
“He’s such a great leader,” Meekins said. “He’s strong up front and he does so much for this team. God has blessed him with a lot of ability, and he really does maximize that ability.”
Westfield will open the postseason against Houston Stratford on Friday night. If they win that one, they will face the winner of San Marcos-Round Rock Westwood. And then the real journey will begin.
If you ask Coburn, the road to state in 6A DII runs through the Westfield defense.
“We’re going to state,” Coburn said. “Nobody is going to put up points on us. We play hard, physical football for 60 minutes straight. We’re going to get after it.”
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