Perryville: Mustangs set to bounce back in 4-3A

Perryville started 2010 off on a high note, defeating its No. 1 rival Bigelow, 28-27, in Week 1. Unfortunately the Mustangs didn’t manage another win until Week 10.

“After Week 2 we had 10 starters out,” coach James Clayton said. “We lost our quarterback for the season. We played a lot of underclassmen. We played [conference foes] Lamar and Lavaca close. We beat Atkins, 12-0, in our final game.”

The Mustangs return eight players on each side of the ball.

Senior Zach Everett (6-2, 210) returns as a three-year starter at offensive tackle. He’ll be paving the way in the Wing T for senior fullback Willy Thurber (5-6, 170) and junior tailback John Stidham (5-9, 190). Junior Lane Tubbs (5-8, 160) and sophomore Jess Jones (5-9, 155) could each see time at quarterback.

The real strength for the Mustangs will be on the defensive side of the ball.

Sawyer West racked up 73 tackles, two sacks and two fumble recoveries in his junior campaign last fall. Aaron Quinalty anchors the defensive line; the senior posted 46 tackles last year.

Thurber and Stidham provide experience on the corners after making 41 and 30 tackles, respectively, in 2010.

Clayton said the Mustangs have the numbers and depth to compete in the 4-3A, but a lack of team speed and some youth at key positions will be weaknesses.