Needles High School

Returning players add stability to Mustangs

NEEDLES — The grass is freshly cut and the lines will soon grace Branigan Field all in preparation of another football season. The Mustangs are also getting ready.

Head Coach Matt Fromelt said he’s looking forward to the season. There are quite a few players coming back to help provide stability to the team.

Fromelt said Trenton Poe-Evans, Derek Wagstaff and Trey Tsosie will help at wide receiver and in the backfield. Gavin Pletcher, Frankie Garcia and Zhiyong Xie will be used in different combinations at the running back position, Fromelt added.

Mauricio Santos and his famous shoes are coming back for another season at the place kicker position. Several lineman are also making their return, Fromelt said.

Ginuen Miller, Joey Lewis, Brendon Lainhart and Adam Jenkins will be helping out on the line, Fromelt said. Anthony Lopas and Dylan Hetrick will also be contributing to offensive line duties.

Defensively, it will be many of the same names, Fromelt said. Many of the boys will be playing both sides of the ball.

Fromelt didn’t indicate a particular type of offense or defense he’ll use. He said it’s a matter of trying to do what can be done with the athletes available. It will come down to getting the ball to those who should have it, he added.

Defensively, Fromelt will try to mix it up, he said. He wants to keep opposing offenses guessing. This may mean going with a bigger front or a faster front depending on the situation, he continued.

As for the schedule, having only four games at home doesn’t seem to bother Fromelt. He said the team will prepare for away games the same way they do for home games.

The only problem that he sees that comes with many away games is keeping the boys on task academically, he said. Away games means missing a day of school and that can mean getting behind and when that happens, athletes miss games, which he doesn’t want.

Competition in the division looks to be much the same. Fromelt said he’s expecting the front runners to be the usual suspects - Agassi, Mountain View and Lincoln County and possibly others. It will be up to him and the Mustangs to be ready and to hopefully give those teams a good game, he added.

Fromelt said he plans to take it one week at a time. That’s his approach all season long.

It comes down to winning every division game possible, he said. One game can make a difference at the end of the season, he added.

Thus far things are looking good, he said. The boys are working hard and are adhering to the team motto: HIT - hard work, intensity, teamwork.

The season kicks off with Needles going to the Flagstaff Classic. The boys’ first game is Friday, Aug. 28 against Odyssey Prep. Time is to be announced.