To say it’s been a tough start for the George West Longhorns this football season would be an understatement, as injuries and missed opportunities have mounted and resulted in an 0-4 record.
The good news is those games were all non-district, and the Horns have a chance for a fresh start this week against the Nixon-Smiley Mustangs. That will be GW’s third road game of the season so far. While it won’t be an easy road, based on the work ethic, spirit and determination of this team, it would be a mistake to count the Longhorns out.
My first post-college news job was as a sports reporter in Waxahachie, a community south of Dallas, back in 1991. The year before, the Waxahachie Indians limped through a painful 0-4 start before putting things together during the second half of the season. After finishing the regular season with six straight wins and getting a first round bye in the playoffs, Waxahachie rolled all the way to the state quarterfinals before falling to eventual state champion Wilmer-Hutchins. That 1990 team was led by Scott Phillips, in his first year in Waxahachie.
In 1991, WHS was 11-2 and in 1992 the team went 16-0 and won a state championship.
I’m not saying George West will do the same, and I’m not saying they won’t. I am just bringing this up to point out that disappointing starts can sometimes result in some pretty exciting finishes.
After a bye week to work through some of the things that have short-circuited the team’s success, no doubt the Horns will be primed and ready to put the past behind them and move on to district play.
Last year, GW was 3-3 in district play and earned its sixth straight trip to the playoffs.
Here’s a look at what’s ahead:
• Oct. 1, GW travels to Nixon-Smiley. The Mustangs were 2-2 before facing Stockdale in their district-opener. Nixon-Smiley was 3-6 in 2020, 4-7 in 2019 and 0-10 in 2018. The Mustangs have wins over Bloomington and Charlotte and losses to Three Rivers and Sacred Heart of Halletsville.
• Oct. 8, the Horns host the Natalia Mustangs, who opened district play against Dilley on Sept. 24. After beating Jourdanton 20-14 in the season-opener, Natalia lost to San Antonio Cole 26-24 before bouncing back with a 24-6 win over Randolph and a 41-0 thumping of Lytle. Natalia was 7-4 a year ago, 8-4 in 2019 and 4-6 in 2018.
• Oct. 15, GW goes to Poth. The Pirates traveled to Karnes City for the district-opener on Sept. 24. After a 52-0 win over Lytle and a 17-14 win over Falls City, Poth lost its first game of the season to Shiner, 39-10. Poth was 9-1 a year ago, 11-2 in 2019 and 10-2 in 2018.
• Oct. 22, the Longhorns host Karnes City. The Badgers are 1-3, with a season-opening 18-13 loss to Kenedy, a 33-20 defeat at the hands of Victoria St. Joseph, a 24-20 win over Mathis and a 41-21 loss to Three Rivers. KC was 4-6 in 2020, 5-5 in 2019 and 1-9 in 2018.
• Oct. 29, GW travels to Dilley. The Wolves were 4-0 heading into the district-opener with Natalia. Dilley had wins over Sabinal, 21-0, Charlotte, 39-0, Cotulla, 9-6 and La Pryor, 48-8.Dilley was 0-8 last season, 0-10 in 2019 and 2-9 in 2018.
• Nov. 5, the Horns close out the regular season by hosting the Stockdale Brahmas. Stockdale opened district play on Sept. 24 vs. Nixon-Smiley. After losses to Schulenberg, 35-23, Flatonia, 28-26, and Falls City, 34-12, to start the year, Stockdale defeated Yorktown 30-21. The Brahmas were 4-5 in 2020, 5-7 in 2019 and 4-7 in 2018.