The Sachse Mustangs spent the first half of the 2021 season looking for the right combination of players at cornerback.
After tinkering for a few weeks, the team settled on developing their younger talent. That group took it in stride, setting up for an experienced return to the new season.
Last season, Ivory Chester, CJ Wells and Jalen Jimenez ended up getting a lot of time in the secondary for the Mustang’s defense. Wells and Jimenez spent most of their time at cornerback, despite Wells being just a freshman and Jimenez only a sophomore. Coach Mark Behrens said that experience will go a long way into the new season.
“We’re really excited to bring back experienced corners but that we are going to have them for two or three more years,” Behrens said. “They’ve worked hard and took a lot from that first year we think should make an impact for us.”
Wells was particularly impressive to the coaching staff last season, finishing the year with 26 tackles and a pass break up last season. As he embraces the role in only his second year, Behrens said he continues to grow in confidence each week.
“He certainly believes in himself, and we like that about him,” Behrens said. “He has an edge to his game and he’s not afraid to talk, but we’re okay with it if he backs it up. He’s up to every challenge we throw at him. He wanted to go against Jordan Hudson at Garland last year and while he had some tough moments, he’s learned, and it’s made him a better football player.”
Along with the top two players, Tyler Rice also will work his way into the formation after playing mostly on junior varsity last season. Rice brings more length to the position and has gotten more reps in practice during the spring with Jimenez sidelined with an injury.
“They’ve done a really good job of taking the coaching we’ve given them and kept working hard,” Behrens said. “We like our options at the position. We feel like we really have three solid cornerbacks I feel comfortable with. All these guys can play.”
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By Kyle Grondin • [email protected]