One of the top defensive lines in District 9-6A is seeing some changeover in 2022, with the Sachse Mustangs replacing three starters.
Sachse is replacing several critical faces on the line of scrimmage, including two-time all-district defensive tackle Albion Krasniqi. He was second on the team with six sacks, along with 52 tackles and seven for loss.
Taking up the mantle of the leader on the defensive line is Jaron Counts, who will line up at tackle for the Mustangs. A backup player last season as a junior, Counts has the most returning experience in the middle with 22 tackles and two sacks. For head coach Mark Behrens, the team hopes to develop several quality options behind him.
“We’re used to having a returning all-district performer at the position, so it’ll have to be a group effort from the team,” Behrens said. “Counts is going to be a great leader for us, and we can see him developing into an all-district player. He’s got to learn behind some excellent players and has worked hard to be a vocal leader this offseason.”
The Mustangs know what’s required of Counts and the other players to have a successful defense. With a strong background of great defensive tackle play, the key they have is allowing them to have an opportunity to show their athleticism while knowing when to stay in their desired role.
“We’ll play some base defense, but we’re going to bring some pressure,” Behrens said. “Nobody wants to sit in base the entire game. These guys will have opportunities to make some big-time plays and get upfield and we think he can do stuff like that. They know their roles and know how to fill them and make plays when needed.”
Starting alongside Counts, Amechi Ofili will be the starting defensive end. He had two sacks, seven quarterback pressures and four tackles for loss last season. Coach Behrens called him one of the best athletes on the football team, and a sprinter for the Mustang’s track and field team.
For more news and sports stories see The Sachse News either in print or online. Support your community newspaper for less than $40 a year.
By Kyle Grondin • [email protected]