MUSTANG — The smoothness of his second season at Mustang has far exceeded coach Jeremy Dombek’s first year, and he sees the potential payoff ahead in 2014 for the Broncos.
“The pace is a lot better than it was at this time last year. The learning curve is not as big as it was,” he said. “It’s going great. Obviously everybody has their concerns this time of year, but I think we’re right on schedule.”
With a quarterback who is drawing Division I recruiting interest and a receiver group that can rival any in the state, the Mustang offense is looking to put some points on the board this fall.
Quarterback Chandler Garrett took over as the starter in the middle of last season, giving him valuable experience heading into his junior year. But like his coach, Garrett is far more comfortable this preseason than he was last.
“He has exceeded some of our expectations in camp, with how much stronger he is, how the ball is coming off his hand much better, how he’s making his decisions quicker,” Dombek said. “It’s what you would expect from a returning starter and a guy who feels more comfortable. But he’s also taking more of a leadership role, and doing a really good job.”
Receiver is the deepest position on the team, with as many as nine players capable of making plays.
David Parker is the most experienced of the bunch, and has shown big-play potential. Jakolby Long, who has 10 scholarship offers as a basketball player, is far more comfortable in his second season at receiver.
And 220-pound H-back Blake Williams has been a pleasant surprise. A rare medical condition had kept him off the field, but he has been cleared to play, and is showing his versatility as a blocker and pass catcher.
“We’ve got a lot of leaders and guys who have been through the system,” Parker said. “We’ve got a lot of guys at receiver who can play, so defenses can’t just double-cover one guy. They’ve got to watch out for a lot of areas.
“Chandler looks like a guy who is ready to take over the offense and lead the team.”
Linebacker is a crucial position on defense, with three of the four returning behind an all-new defensive line. Cole Daniel is a third-year starter at linebacker, alongside Cutter Smith and Kaden Truelove.
All four players in the secondary have experience as well.
“We have a lot more experience on defense, and it’s not all new this year,” Dombek said. “Defensively, everything was totally new to these guys last year. So with a year under their belts, we’re flying around and playing faster, so we expect to be more productive on that side of the ball.”