Irion County Wants To 'Burn Ships' In 2017
MERTZON, TX-- The 2016 season was a forgettable one for the Irion County Hornets, to say the least. Junior quarterback Nathan Chacon went down injured around the midway mark of his sophomore season, and the Hornets just were not able mount much of an attack throughout the duration of their 1-9 season a year ago. However, Head Coach David Waddell is full of optimism ahead of the 2017 season.
"We told the kids about the story of Cortez in 1518," Waddell said. "We're going to burn that ship. We're going to forget about last year and focus on the future."
The Hornets return 19 starters on both sides of the ball combined (nine offensive, 10 defensive). That experience, coupled with the return of a more seasoned Chacon, could spell good news for the Hornets. "The learning curve is so small because these guys have been doing this for three years," Waddell said.
Keeping Chacon healthy is the primary objective for Irion County because he has a big time arm for a 2A quarterback. "He can throw the ball," Waddell said. Last year, in five and a half games, Chacon notched 529 passing yards and six touchdowns in a predominately running offense.
Another factor helping Chacon in 2017 will be the return of his number one target Valdomero Gomez. "I feel like we were getting better connections with the routes on offense," Chacon said. "I feel like we're coming together and looking good."
Defensively, the coaching staff at Irion County will now implement a 4-2-5 scheme. The decision for the new scheme came after the Irion County staff met with the San Angelo Central staff during the offseason. "I think the kids are excited simply because Central plays a good brand of football," Waddell said. "It takes good players to pull that off, and I think we've got good players."
Heading up this new scheme will be mike linebacker Bradey Allen, who tallied two sacks and played defensive line last season. "Bradey is a big, powerful guy," Waddell said. Senior linebacker Caleb Wilson (81 tackles in 2016) will line up opposite of Allen in the will linebacker position. Wilson is a three year starter, going on his fourth, and his experience will be relied on heavily in this new scheme for the Hornets.
Things look good for Irion County; but in a district with State Finalist Iraan and Van Horn, you have to be better than good if you want to make any headway in the postseason. The Hornets add one more win to their record in 2017 at 2-8, but will remain winless in district play.
Irion County opens up the 2017 season at home on September 1st at 7:30 against Christoval.