The much anticipated 2009 Mason High School football season has arrived as the Punchers will begin two-a day practice sessions next week. The Punchers will be looking to build on the momentum of last years team, who won the district, marched three deep into the state playoffs and finished the year ranked 17th in the state.
The 2009 Punchers will roll out a stellar Senior and Junior class with 14 All-District players returning from last years team. Seniors: Jayton Henrich, Joaquin Mejia, Casey Kruse, Vance Lehmberg, Jermy Hamilton, Omar Martinez, Estavan Villareal, Zach Hudson, Justin Yonker and Roddy Castillo. Juniors: Chase Crouch, Garrett Rice, Junior Alvarez, A.J. Martinez.and Garrett Allen. This battle tested group of warriors will bring that all important playoff experience to the bright lights of Friday night. As always Coach Joy will season his Puncher stew by bringing up several well deserving sophomores to round out this years squad. You can be assured that this highly touted group of players will bring an intimidating style to our gridiron assault and will be more then prepared to uphold the tradition that is Mason football.
The catalyst to our success this year will once again fall on the shoulders of our offensive line that is anchored by the bruising Joaquin Mejia and returning quarterback Justin Yonker who passed for over 1400 yards last year. The Punchers will however have a different look at just about every other position,with our backfield and defense seeing the largest reshuffle of the deck. Look for the Punchers to be more physically mature this year and also considerably faster.
The Mason old timers will be quick to tell you that this years team may be better then last years. The Padilla Poll and Texas Football Magazine seem to agree as our Punchers came in at number #11 in the state wide preseason rankings and are also a unanimous pick to win District 29. As you look a little closer at the rankings you will become acutely aware that two of the teams on this years schedule, #19 Iraan and number #12 Goldthwaite are also state ranked as well. Fox Sports and Texas Football Magazine have even tabbed the Mason vs Goldthwaithe game as one of the top three dream games in Class1A this year. I am getting all cranked up just thinking about it! (See state rankings)
District 29 will once again resemble the Big12 South and be one of the toughest districts in the state with parity up and down the ladder. Menard will return explosive running back John Zomora, who helped hand us our only district loss last year. Eldorado has hired new coach Alan Cherry and will return linebacker Mike Mileska who is a preseason favorite to win the district defensive MVP. Our old nemis Junction, who went all the way to the state semi-finals last year has reloaded and will roll out another dynamic back in the form of 6"0' 200LBS Ty Stapp, and do not count out Rocksprings who will feature 6"5' 210LBS All-District quarterback Zane Hernandez. (See district rankings)
The long and short of it is this. The Mason faithful has a dog that can hunt. Our Punchers appear to be one of the hot programs in the state. For the second year in a row our Punchers have cracked the statewide top 20 polls and seemed poised to make another playoff run. As always there will be highs and lows as we move our way through the season. However, the table seems set for another big year at the Puncher Dome!!!!
The Puncher Club who topped out at over 120 members last year will once again be driving the rah-rah wagon and stoking the Puncher fire as we prepare for the season opener against #19 Iraan. The game will be played on the campus of ASU in San Angelo and is expected to garnish a great deal of attention due to the high expectations of both teams. The 2009 season is only 28 days away so lets start to wrap up summer and turn our thoughts to the bright lights of Friday night. The Puncher Club will do its best to keep you abreast of Puncher football, so keep your head in the huddle and check the paper weekly.
PRESEASON DISTRICT 29 RANKINGS:
6.) Irion County
PRESEASON REGION 4 RANKINGS:
9.) Falls City
PRESEASON STATE RANKINGS:
3.) Quinlan Boles
9.) Falls City
10.) New Deal
*** There are 175 teams in Class 1A.