Mesquite Poteet put together an impressive season last year by advancing to its first state semifinal since 2010. Their resume included momentous wins against the likes of Denton Ryan, Frisco Lone Star and Lancaster and even playing what would eventually be the two 5A classification state champions in Highland Park and Aledo during their 2016 season.
The district co-champions seemed primed for a season to remember but fell just short of a state title appearance with Aledo downing Poteet 38-14 on their way to an undefeated season. It was a bittersweet feeling of déjà vu as Poteet also lost to Aledo back in 2010.
The Pirates were able to conjure some post season magic last year to go along with their talented senior class leading the way but that also leads to perhaps Poteet’s biggest issue heading into next season.
How exactly will Poteet fare next season with a sizeable amount of talent being lost on both sides of the ball? Will Poteet be able to build upon the deep playoff run of their program last year and get over the final hump of the playoff mountain that has eluded them since 2010?
QB Kaleb Fletcher, RB Daiquain Jackson, WR ChaCha Corbin, DL Noah Ingram, DB Josh Johnson, LB Avery Lewis, LB Byron Law
Poteet will be losing their leading passer, receiver, rusher and tacklers. On defense, the Pirates will be losing Ingram, Lewis and Law that account for 278 tackles, 26 tackles for loss and 21 sacks among those three.
Fletcher threw for 2,840 yards and 27 touchdowns and rushed for an additional 501 yards and four touchdowns. Jackson rushed for over 1,000 yards and had 18 touchdowns and Corbin accounted for 987 reception yards and 12 touchdowns.
WR Da’Michael Smith, DB Jimmy Phillips
There are more players to account for when discussing the key returning players but Da’Michael Smith and Jimmy Phillips are leading the way.
Smith had an impressive year after accounting for 770 yards on 45 receptions and 8 touchdowns and averaging 17 yards per catch. Smith will definitely provide some firepower as a downfield option.
Phillips will be manning the last line of defense and look to improve on a fantastic year where he had 66 tackles, two interceptions and three forced fumbles.
Poteet was able to produce a memorable playoff run which included a seven-game winning streak before falling to Aledo. The Pirates will probably find themselves in a tug-of-war with defending state champion Highland Park for district supremacy.
Now as far as the level of playoff success they will have next year is where the discussion becomes a little more interesting. When it comes to the 5A DII picture, everyone should be gunning for Aledo. If they can pull every aspect of the team together, Poteet has the ability to knock Aledo out of the picture and possibly see their program reach the summit they have yet to reach.
It won’t be easy but it may very well be the time for Poteet. If Poteet showed one thing last year, it’s that they are the team that is up to the task and ready to pay the price to be the best.
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