Coming off a district championship, Wharton had high expectations last season.
The Tigers fell short of their aspirations, finishing 5-6 with a 3-2 district record, good for third place in their district.
Now in his fourth season as Wharton head coach, Chad Butler is focused on getting back to a high level of play in District 12-4A, Division II.
“We think we should be competing for a district championship and making a run in the playoffs,” Butler said. “That’s our focus is putting ourselves in a good position because when you get to the playoffs anything can happen.”
To do that Wharton will have to do well in a district that includes Bellville, Sweeny, La Marque, Royal and Sealy.
“It’s a really tough district,” Butler said. “You have Bellville and Sealy and those two are always really tough. Bellville especially has a really solid team coming back. La Marque and Sweeny are solid programs and so it’s all up for grabs and I think it could be anybody’s.”
Key returners for Wharton include running back and linebacker Keijon Waddell, wide receiver and defensive back James Jones and offensive and defensive lineman JaQuarian Hopkins.
Butler also expects contributions from newcomers Sterling Harris at quarterback, Jericho Cardenas at linebacker and Fred Jones at wide receiver and defensive back.
“They’ve looked really good so far,” Butler said. “It’s been a big adjustment because we’re doing a full virtual classroom so they don’t have that normal school day and the routine is different. But they’ve handled it well and they’ve been focused and getting good work in.”