After making it all the way to the State Quarterfinals last year, the Eastland Mavericks have their hearts set on another deep playoff run this year. A major question heading into 2021 for the Mavericks, is who will replace Behren Morton behind center? Seniors Cooper Wright and Keaton Hicks are in a heated battle for the job.
Head Coach James Morton says, “They have a lot of the same skill sets. I think the biggest thing though you’ve got to have as a quarterback is just being a great leader. When things don’t go well, how are they going to respond to that?”
Cooper Wright says, “We have this compeition going on, but I believe it’s making me a better player, it’s making me a better teammate, it’s making Keaton a better teammate, and it’s making the rest of the team know that the quarterback spot is still being battled out for and that there’s still work to do.”
Keaton Hicks says, “It’s a battle. It’s fun, but it’s fun though. We push each other every day to the limit and I think whoever comes out on top will help the team out the best.”
While Wright and Hicks do have experience playing under the lights on Friday nights, they say they’re both looking forward to taking the steps necessary to not only earn snaps behind center, but dominate on both sides of the ball as well.
Keaton Hicks says, “Last year I was a varsity player, but I didn’t get a lot of reps so I’m trying to become starters both ways, so I can help the team out and be a big factor in the way we play this year.”
Cooper Wright says, “I feel like if we didn’t have a competition that we would just being going through the motions, and we wouldn’t be working to be the best we could possibly be. We’d want to be, but we wouldn’t really have anything pushing us. I think the push in this program right now is tremendous for us.”
The key to any strong football team is the ability to hold their ground in the trenches. After losing multiple starters on their offensive line this offseason, the Mavericks are placing a heavly emphasis on rebuilding their line this summer.
Hunter Lee says, “Them younger guys are really picking it up and coming to work, and I really think they took an example of last year and they’re picking it up really good.”
Cooper Wright says, “A lot of people talk about our offensive line not being the greatest its been, but I have faith in them. I have faith in what they can do, and I have faith in how they can handle the pressure.”
The Mavericks open the 2021 season with a tough one against regional powerhouse Wall on August 27th.