Nixon-Smiley took a step in the right direction last season, making the playoffs for the first time since 2016.
This year, head coach Pablo Ybarra’s goals are the same in District 15-3A, Divison II.
“I think we have a shot at the playoffs again this year,” Ybarra said. “We have experience and we are definetely a senior ball club so we’re hoping that those seniors carry us to where we need to be. They got their last year and understand what it takes, we just have to do it again.”
Nixon-Smiley returns nine lettermen both on the offensive and defensive side of the ball.
The Mustangs hope to accomplish their goals by leaning on their running game.
“Offensively, I think we could have two or three 1,000 yard rushers and defensively we want to make sure we do our jobs and get the offense back on the field to eat clock, but we’re excited on both sides of the ball.”
Karnes City will begin the season under a new coach in Daniel Oelschlegel, he replaced Jim Wood who resigned after 12 seasons in charge.
Oelschlegel isn’t shy when it comes to his expectations for the team, which went 5-5 and 2-3 in district last season.
“They had a little success last year and I think we can build on that,” he said. “First game out the gate we have Kenedy and that’s exciting but out goal isn’t just to beat Kenedy, it’s to compete in district and win a few playoff games.”
Oelschlsclegel expects a challenge in district, but thinks the Badgers can handle it.
“There are some good teams in this district but I don’t think it’s anything that we can’t compete with,” he said. “We’re one of the biggest 3A, Division II teams in Texas and we have just as much talent as anyone else in our district. We just have to get the kids to buy in and execute our system.”