Against All Odds

Mason Hughes , Reporter

Every great story has a climax. The story of the 2021 Mustangs football season is no stranger to turning points. The players were back to the drawing board after a devastating 5-5 season in 2020, and they were set for change as they had hired a completely new set of coaches heading into the new season.

With fresh coaches, gameplans, and talent, the Mustangs trampled their division in the record-breaking season. Senior Christian Tamez was a receiver for the Mustangs and has been a member of the Mustangs since he was able to join bouncing between positions as a receiver and defensive back. 

Tamez was inspired to play football at the age of 12 when he joined the junior high football team. 

“I was influenced early on by Houston Texans players like DeAndre Hopkins, Arian Foster, and Andre Johnson,” Christian said. “They made me want to play football so badly when I watched them play every Sunday during the season. Those guys definitely inspired the way I played football.” 

High school football is notorious for its vigorous training routines throughout both the on and off-seasons, even carrying on all the way through the summer. Practicing football and working out under the scorching Texas sun is guaranteed to develop an athlete both mentally and physically. 

“During those hot and humid summer days, I questioned whether or not I really made the right decision in playing football. But I kept in mind the reward waiting for me during and after the season, and even after football is over.”

But perseverance kept him in the game.

“Looking back now, I can laugh at those moments of doubt. I am now even grateful for those moments because they helped me develop both mentally and physically. I gained several pounds of lean muscle each year and I learned what it meant to work for success.”

Christian was confused heading into his senior season as the majority of coaches and players he had spent time with on varsity prior were gone. Many discussions were held throughout locker rooms, classrooms, and gyms discussing the future of the football team. 

“Before meeting the new coaches I was worried about the future as I had grown close to the other coaches. But I stopped worrying during summer strength and conditioning camp. They were guys that I could tell knew what they were doing. They were more comfortable than I expected and created relationships with the guys immediately.”

The Mustangs went on to have the most successful season in school history in 2021, trampling over teams in and above their division. This change in staff meant they were given the reboot that they needed heading into the season and made the best of it.

“The locker room had a completely different atmosphere between the senior guys during the last couple weeks of the playoffs. Obviously, it was emotional for them but they were glad that they got to play with each other as much as they could.”

Many of the senior players had spent the majority of their football careers playing with the same guys every single year. For most, their football journey was over, and it can be a difficult adjustment to live life without all that comes with being part of a team.

“Football meant almost everything to me. I’m sad that I probably won’t get to put the pads on again, but I am appreciative of all of the friendships and memories I made during my time with the team. I know that what I took away from football will last me forever.”