Friendswood facing real challenge in district this season

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Brock Foster

There's a real positive atmosphere that is evident among the Friendswood gridiron warriors as the Mustangs have welcomed the arrival of new head coach Jordan Johnson.

Jordan comes to Friendswood as a hometown product, so he is one of them. Plus -- he arrives as the former offensive coordinator of Denton Guyer that has a championship DNA as the Wildcats were 14-1 last season while advancing to the Class 6A DII state semifinals.

Jordan recently said, "I love Friendswood and we have had such a warm welcome from everybody we have come in contact with. We are thankful to be in Friendswood."

The Mustangs were 4-6 in 2022 and missed the post-season in former head coach Robert Koopmann's last season before retiring.

District 10-5A Div. I may be one of the toughest leagues in the state and the Mustangs are a pre-season pick to finish seventh out of the nine team district.

But Jordan knows that games are not decided on pre-season polls, and he believes that his players are going to answer the bell when it comes time to actually play the games.

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Coach Jordan Johnson

"The players have answered the call daily and as a program, we have taken it a day at a time," Jordan said. "As far as a swell in participation, thankfully there has been. I have had numerous players tell me they want to play football and be a part of the program. Those players have acclimated well."

Friendswood has seven offensive and five defensive players returning with 23 lettermen this year.

Offensively, Jordan will have some key skill players returning with QB Brock Foster (6-5, 225, 4.8) and QB Michael Butler (5-10, 175) vying to lead the Mustangs on that side of the ball.

Foster threw for 380 yards and 4 TDs last year while Butler threw for 350 yards and four scores.

RB Walker Wintes (5-7, 175, 4.6 and WR Adam Buffington (6-1, 170, 4.5) return as Buffington had 411 yards and 3 TDs receiving while Winters will pace the ground attack.

Others on offense who will provide leadership include OL Jackson Grantham, OL Trent Baker, and OL Luke Bryant.

"There have been challenges offensively due to the change in scheme, pace of play, and terminology, Jordan said. "Thankfully, the players have done their part in soaking up information, practicing at a high level, and learning from mistakes."

Defensively, the Mustangs will be led by LB Caleb Allen (6-2, 215, 4.6) who had a banner year as a sophomore with five sacks. LB Mason Sindelar (5-10, 215, 4.7) had three sacks and two INTs.

Others making an impact on the defensive side of the ball include DB Sawyer Skeel (6-3, 185, 4.8), DL Cooper Hopkins (6-0, 230), DL Noah Abebe (6-3, 210, 4.8), LB Marcus Quintero, LB Nathan Doremus, DB Nicholas Ruffeno, DL Caleb Goins, and DB Landon Davis.

"Defensively, there have been challenges that are very similar to the offensive side of the ball," Jordan said. "Everything is new to everybody-- terminology, practice plan, pace of play, and positions. Basically, if there is an aspect of football that can be new on either side of the is.

"Our defensive players have picked up teaching and a very fast pace, practiced hard, and have responded well to coaching."

There will be stiff competition in District 10-5A Div. I. The pre-season prediction has Fulshear winning the league title followed by Manvel, Angleton, Magnolia West, Richmond Foster, Magnolia, Friendswood, Rosenberg Terry, and FB Kempner.

"As a program, we have goals in place that revolve largely around our process," Jordan said. "Like I said earlier, there is no aspect of our program that is not thought out, intentional, and serves a purpose regarding a Thursday or Friday night.

"With that being said, one goal I have for our team is that we learn what it looks and feels like to prepare the right way daily. From there, we have to learn to take our preparation and apply it when the lights are brightest."