“All of those guys had such a great offseason and it was awesome to see them develop not only on the field, but off the field as leaders and as young men as well,” Jensen said. “They led all of the younger guys in the program this offseason."
Mayde Creek are on a mission this season.
After going 2-8 last season to go with an 0-6 record in district, the Rams are out to prove themselves this year, and want to take a step towards competing in the ever-difficult District 19-6A.
The Rams took last season personally, especially the way in which they lost a couple of games. But when the offseason hit, the team immediately hit the weight room and got to work.
Mayde Creek’s players know what it takes now and they feel they are ready to prove it.
“Our guys responded,” Jensen said. As soon as offseason hit, they attacked it. We lifted every day until February and then when spring hit we took that same momentum onto the field. Our guys have a chip on their shoulder, they’re motivated. We’re out to prove it and prove it to ourselves. There’s talent in the room and talent in the school, we just have to get the most out of every kid.
The Rams have the pieces, especially at skill positions to compete with others in the district this year. The team is led by Tay’Shawn Wilson, who is one of the best defensive backs in the state, and they also bring back Braden Turner to give Mayde Creek two terrific stoppers on the back end of their defense.
To go with that, Nicholas Buena and Nicholas Johnson will anchor the defensive line while Donovan McKey brings strong experience and ability to the linebacker position.
Having returners at all three levels of the defense will be music to Jensen’s ears, as he attempts to build up what will need to be a strong defense if this Rams team is to have a chance at competing for a playoff spot.
“All of those guys had such a great offseason and it was awesome to see them develop not only on the field, but off the field as leaders and as young men as well,” Jensen said. “They led all of the younger guys in the program this offseason. Everything that’s supposed to happen, those guys really took it on themselves to lead. Their improved leadership, their buy in, it’s one of the reasons things are going to be exponentially better. We’re excited.”
But it’s not just the defense that excited Jensen. Carldell Beard is back to lead the offense and the strong-armed quarterback has options to work with in the attack with wide receiver Beau Bankston transferring over from Paetow and Wilson expected to make an impact in both the offensive and return game as well.
It will need to be a stronger offensive attack than last year, after narrowly averaging over 200 yards per game last year and only averaging 48 yards on the ground per game to go with 13.6 points per game.
Those kind of numbers would lead to struggles for the Rams this year, but with another year under the Rams system and with key returners, Jensen things that the team will show some big improvements.
“Carldell has taken such a big step and it’s been huge,” Jensen said. “From the fundamentals, to leadership to how strong he is, it’s just a different level from last year,” Jensen said. “Right now he’s 6-foot-3 inches and 218 pounds. He’s as strong as he’s ever been and the entire offense has been getting after it in offseason. We just feel like all of them are going to be really good.”
Mayde Creek will have a chance to prove itself early, as they open the season against Westside, which made the playoffs last year.
Jensen, who is in search of his first district win as a head coach will have that chance early when Mayde Creek plays Jordan in the third week of the season. The Rams hope to carry their strong offseason and summer into non-district before they face the gauntlet of this year’s all Katy ISD district.
“This whole program has grown exponentially,” Jensen said. “As those players have grown, so have we as coaches and the program as a whole as well. They’re all great teammates, they support each other and rally each other and they’ve just taken a step both on and off the field. There’s a continuity now both with the players and on the coaching staff after being together for a year and it’s been awesome. We’re all on the same team and we’re ready to go.”