Our Punchers will participate in a controlled scrimmage against Ozona on Saturday, August 14th, with the JV playing at 9:00 a.m., followed by the Varsity at 10:30 a.m. The Puncher Club will once again be serving Bar-B-Que and KNEL 95.3FM will be broadcasting live from Puncher Alley which is located next to the concession stand. Last year the scrimmage played to a capacity crowd and we are expecting another large turnout this year. When you arrive make sure you secure a complimentary copy of the Punchers Preseason Prospectus. It will come complete with rosters, state rankings, varsity parent responsibilities and much more. The scrimmage is also the perfect time to make sure you get your family name or business advertisement in the 2010 Season Guide: Family membership $20.00, Business advertisement $75.00. Stop by the Puncher Club Booth on Saturday and sign up.
Every year there are several story lines that the Mason faithful will be quick to give you their opinion on. However, this year the hot topic is; How can the Punchers survive a schedule that is so brutal, it has already picked up the moniker " Murderers Row." Is the schedule that tough you ask? Let me put it this way. In the original movie "Rocky", the final scene has a battered Rocky Balboa retreating to his corner prior to the final round, only to return to the center of the ring enticing Apollo Creed to mix it up one more time. This may very well be the path our Punchers travel this year. The first six games, which are non-district games, are all against 2A teams that all went at least three deep in the playoffs last year. When district play begins, and if our Punchers are still standing, they will then have to take on four district opponents who all made the playoffs last year, including Goldthwaite who won the State Championship in 2009 and are returning19 of 22 starters.
Some have asked, why did we stack our schedule with such tough opponents? Trust me it was not by design. Each year the UIL lays out the district schedule. The coaches must then firm up the non-district portion of the schedule on their own. The problem that Coach Joy ran into is all of the 1A schools and several of the softer 2A schools in our region refused to play us because they did not relish the idea of tangling with Mason so early in the 2010 campaign. That is why you will see schools such as Olney, which is located all the way up in the Panhandle, Ingram who just dropped down from 3A, and Class 2A State semi-finalist Comfort on our schedule this year.
Is this a major compliment to our program? Is Ed "Too Tall" Jones, too Tall? Our Punchers who have cracked the top twenty polls three years in a row and are currently ranked 11th in the State are a program that is to be reckoned with. Mason no longer crosses it’s fingers and hopes to be a playoff contender, we reload! Our reputation as a physical no nonsense program precedes us with an abundance of JV talent coming down the pipe.
It is no mystery that I always see the glass half full and that is why I like the 2010 schedule. As I told several players last week, ‘Would you rather play a bunch of Mary’s early on and fool yourself into thinking you are good, or go toe to toe with some of the toughest kids on the block and then approach district play like Rocky Balboa entering the final round". New QB1 Dillon Estes’ response to me was classic; "You are right Paul, the only difference being when we come out of our corner for our final round we will be enticing Goldthwaite and unlike Rocky we will throw the knock out punch!..........Ahhhhh rumble young men rumble!