EDNA – Edna’s Javonte Seymore would love nothing more than to finish his high school career on top.

Seymore knows being a senior means it’s now or never.

“I stayed in the weight room during the offseason,” Seymore said. “I’ll be filling the role of the fullback this year, so I wanted to put on some muscle to get ready for the contact that lies ahead.”

Seymore, who stands at 5-foot-10 and weighs 170 pounds, is coming off a strong junior campaign after rushing for 1,108 yards and eight touchdowns.

He hopes to pick up from last year’s success when Edna opens the season at Caldwell.

The Cowboys’ season opener will feature the head coaching debut of Robert Draper, who was promoted from offensive coordinator in May.

“We’re together this year,” Seymore said. “Everybody is together with most of us being seniors, and we have a strong connection.”

The Cowboys compiled a 12-2 record last season – including a 4-1 mark in District 14-3A, Division I play.

But Edna’s season came to a close after a 42-6 loss to Yoakum in the Class 3A quarterfinals.

“Our last game was tough,” Seymore said. “Now we want to come out and do something to redeem ourselves. This is a redemption year, and I feel confident about everyone on our squad.”

The Cowboys return a combined 10 starters on offense and defense, but will be without last year’s leading rusher Kenny Haynes.

Edna’s defensive starters will be Ethan Johnson, Malachi Brigham, Logan Long, Christian Gomez, Logan Carroll and Demarcus Gardner.

The offense will include Long, who is also the starting quarterback, Seymore, Irvin Thornton, Kris Black and Julius Dilworth.

“Trying to fill the role of Kenny Haynes is a lot of pressure,” Seymore said. “But I’m going to come out and try to complete the task.”

Draper said the Cowboys’ style of play won’t change despite him taking over as head coach.

The Cowboys began running the slot-T when former coach Jerry Long took over in 2017.

Draper worked under Long and was the offensive coordinator at Liberty Hill, which also ran the slot-T, before coming to Edna.

“The good news is that we don’t have to teach these kids a lot of stuff,” Draper said. “We’re installing the same system. What we’ve been doing is installing excitement back into the program and getting our numbers back up.

“The thing I like about this team is their commitment and their energy,” Draper added. “We had a good turnout in the summer for weights and so far, everyone has had a good attitude. These guys give you all they got and that’s all you can ask for.”

The Cowboys will play Sealy and Columbus in a three-way scrimmage Friday night at Sealy.

Edna begins the season ranked No. 11 in the Class 3A, Division I poll.

“We have a good chance this year,” said linebacker Ethan Johnson. “In my eyes, I think we’re better this year. This year is going to be good.”

Rey Castillo is the assistant sports editor for the Victoria Advocate. He may be reached at rcastillo@vicad.com, 361-574-1240 or on Twitter @reycastillo361.

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