Memorial Stadium is no stranger to these athletes.. some competed against each other in high school.. others played on the same team..
Former Rider Raider Deven Smith made an appearance in 5 games as a reserve linebacker and long snapper finishing the season with 7 tackles and 5 solo stops… Smith expects even more in 2019.
“Being able to contribute on the defensive side and you know getting to play a little bit more and step into a roll as a leader at the linebacker position,” said Deven Smith.
Another Rider Alumni… Senior Tristan Shearman… Shearman played in all ten games last season with 44 tackles and a career high ten tackles in the game agaisnt Tarleton.
“Playing at Memorial as a Mustang has a since of home to it. I’ve been there for a really long time. Ive played a lot of games there. The difference between high school and college sports is just the lowest player on the team.. like the worst player on the field at all times at that level just goes up, so I mean you’re just playing against guys that were.. I mean you’re not playing against any people that were just bad athletes or guys that werent supposed to be on the field or anything like that.. everybody is meant to be there,” said Tristan Shearman.
From Vernon… Zack McMahen suited up for 9 games in 2018.. the former Vernon Lion had 16 tackles, 6 solo stops, and a fumble recovery for the Mustangs.
“You know coming from Vernon.. kind of a smaller school.. its just kind of.. you know everybody’s faster, bigger, stronger here so you know its just kind of getting used to the speed of the game. The best part? You know obviously playing the games are always a lot of fun, but I think the relationships that you build with your teammates and your friends.. you know you all become a family I guess,” said Zack McMahen.
Holliday’s Justin Jones lettered his freshman year.. Jones played in five games and rushed for 67 yards with 9 carries and a scored his first collegiate touchdown in the game against Eastern New Mexico.
“I didnt expect to really get in that game and then all of the sudden they put me in and they prepared me for it, and I felt like I was ready for it when I scored and you know it was a great feeling. You know it was kinda like something you dream about as a little kid you know.. score your first college touchdown,” said Justin Jones.
Jones is now teammates with a former rival from Henrietta.
Zack West earned District 5-3a Offensive Most Valuable Player his senior year as a Bearcat. In 2019.. West will take to Memorial as a Linebacker for Midwestern State Mustangs.
“Yea it was a rivarly…Yea he gave me a run for my money but uh I played against Justin whose right behind but uh yea it was just me and him. Thats the only one I played against. Like Senior year I was just seeing what kind of opportunitites I had in front of me so when MSU offered me, I was like yea I’ll probably take it,” said Zack West.
From Munday.. Jacoby Thomas played in all ten games as a cornerback for the Mustangs.. The former Munday Mogul wracked up 5 tackles as a redshirt freshman.
“The atmosphere of the team is great. Everyday you come in and you know you have your brother there right there beside you no matter what youre going through. No matter if its good or bad, but when you step on the field.. everything.. your mindset is totally different. Its just strictly football,” said Jacoby Thomas.
Just strictly football.. Thats what these guys are locked in on. These texoma mustangs have a standard of excellence to uphold not just at Memorial Stadium.. but every stadium.