BURKEVILLE, Texas — Any high school football historian will tell you Burkeville used to be a monster despite their small numbers. And while the process has been slow, the Mustangs are on their way back.
Back in 2001, Burkeville was the king of class 1A, since then things have been rough, with the Mustangs failing to beat a varsity team on the field since 2015.
That is expected to change this year, with Burkeville picked to make the playoffs.
Coach Eric Williams is pleased with the progress of his program.
"Our definition of winning there is getting better better, getting better by the day, getting better by the week. It's nice that Dave Campbell was able to identify us as the fourth best team in the district, that shows growth. Last year I think we were last in the district. So it ties in with what we try to instill once again. Winning, getting better. So they predict us being better than last year but we'll for sure be better than fourth place.
Coach Williams expects the improvement this year to be significant.
"Just gaining that one year of varsity experience last year I think has really helped us. We were very young. The confidence that they've gained in the coaching staff, the confidence that they've gained within themselves over our offseason program, the community support."
Facilities are also improving at Burkeville with new lights and a track going in at Roy Harper stadium after the locker room was upgraded last season
"Our kids are just in love with what is going on there. I get a lot of direct messages from alumni, people that are just excited with what's going on and I'm just happy to be caught up in it. There's a lot of excitement and it just shows that they're appreciative of what's going on and our goals are high and we look to not only advance to the playoffs, but continue to play for several weeks and be very competitive in doing that."
Last Year: (0-8, 0-5)
Starters Returning: Offense (6), Defense (6)
Players to Watch: QB Christopher Stelly, RB/LB LaTayvion Mays, TE/DE Kavin Simmons, OL/DL Ulysess Hall, OL/DL Shelby Evans, TE/DE Liam Anderson
Dave Campbell's Texas Football 12-2A-II Prediction: 4th
District Championships: (19) 1942, 82, 85, 86, 87, 88, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 2000, 01, 04, 05
Playoff Appearances: (23) 1942, 82, 85, 86, 87, 88, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 2000, 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 10, 11
Playoff Record: (28-19-2)
State Championships: (2) 1986, 2001
State Finalist: (1) 2000
Most Wins in a Season: (13) 1986
Undefeated Regular Seasons: (4) 1942, 87, 94, 95
Aug. 27 - at Colmesneil Bulldogs
Sept. 4 - vs Overton Mustangs
Sept. 11 - vs Cushing Bearkats
Sept. 18 - at Mt. Enterprise Wildcats
Sept. 25 - at Grapeland Sandies
Oct. 2 - OPEN
Oct. 9 - at Sabine Pass Sharks*
Oct. 16 - at High Island Cardinals*
Oct. 23 - vs Hull-Daisetta Bobcats*
Oct. 30 - at Deweyville Pirates*
Nov. 6 - vs Evadale Rebels*
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