HOXIE, AR (KAIT) - In Hoxie, losing players to graduation is apparently no excuse and down years are not an acceptable part of what makes up the Mustangs' mindset.
This season, there will be no Cole Sears, Gunner Cook, Hunter Wilson or Stephen Arnold for the first time in several years. Sears and Cook provided significant offensive numbers including 4,500 career passing yards and 222 rushing yards last season. Those will be hard shoes to fill.
There aren't many teams that could lose that kind of production and maintain their winning ways but if anyone can, it's the Hoxie Mustangs. "We lost some good skill players and you lose some good seniors every year," said Hoxie Head Coach Tom Sears, "It's just about replacing those guys and each group of seniors coming in and knowing what their role is."
Offensively, the Mustangs will have a new quarterback to replace Cole Sears. Senior James Johnson will be filling those shoes and offers up a great skill set of his own. He's been a wide receiver in the past with the Mustangs and offers great speed but according to Coach Sears, he also can throw the football. "I think we can do it, especially with our line, our receivers, and our defense," said Johnson.
On defense, Hoxie has it's typical size, returning 259 pound Seth Wagoner on the D-Line who can bench press around 310 pounds. "We've all been busting our tail trying to get the work done," said Wagoner, "we've had more guys show up consistently than ever before."
The general feel around the Mustangs locker room is that the green and black are poised for another season at the top of the 3-3A. "We're going to pretty well do what we did last year," said Sears, his confidence spilling over onto the team. "We come in here, we bust our butts, and we're stronger than any other team overall," Wagoner added.
As for the new quarterback leading the charge for Hoxie, he is just as confident as his teammates and coach. "I think Rivercrest and Osceola will be a good battle this year," said Johnson, "But I think Hoxie can do it."
The Mustangs open the 2015 slate with Trumann at the home field of the Wildcats on September 4.