ROSENBERG — The Lamar Consolidated Mustangs took the field for the final time this spring on Monday, focusing on the development of the quarterback and pass rushers.
Head Coach Kiah Johnson emphasized the need for increased production from behind the center during the offseason.
“We wanted the quarterback to be more commanding of the offense and I feel he has a real understanding of it this year,” Johnson said. “His maturation from last fall has been amazing.”
Nathan Lowther, a senior, will be returning as the experienced signal-caller for the Mustangs. Lowther started in all 10 games for the team in 2022.
With only eight touchdowns credited to the quarterback last season, Johnson and his staff aimed to create a more versatile offense during the spring.
“We want to become more confident in our offense from the quarterback position,” Johnson said. “We also want our offensive linemen to understand their feet and their steps along the line. Our wide receivers are also learning all of our new concepts and we have been ahead of schedule in that regard.”
Among the offensive players who stood out during the spring practices, Johnson mentioned senior lineman Clay Seaton, sophomore receiver Jordan Waddle and junior receivers Jaquan Thomas and Ja’Lace Embry.
On the defensive side, Johnson and his staff concentrated on replacing several graduating pass rushers. Three of the Mustangs’ top four sack leaders were seniors last season, necessitating the emergence of a new group to shoulder the workload.
“We want our defensive linemen to grow,” Johnson said. “We had a lot of those guys graduate but have a lot of them back end who are staying. We are going to have a lot of kids coming up that are going to have to play big for us in the fall.”
Johnson anticipates an even more impressive season from linebacker Marvin Farris, who enters his senior year after recording 84 tackles and five sacks as a junior.
The Mustangs also welcome back key defensive players from 2022, including leading interceptor Oscar Pedraza, standout corner Keshawn Mayberry, and defensive end Matthew Dorsey.
During Monday’s spring game, the defense, wearing navy blue jerseys, performed exceptionally well against the offense, clad in white jerseys.
The Blue Team emerged victorious, defeating the White Team 30-14 by forcing four turnovers during the scrimmage.
“They’re all doing an excellent job,” Johnson praised his defense. “I’m excited about the energy they bring.”
The Mustangs will commence their 2023 season with a home game against Willowridge on Aug. 26.
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