WHITNEY, Texas — The Whitney Wildcats lost quite a bit of offensive firepower from their area round playoff run in 2021, but the Wildcats hope a new coaching staff and solid offensive line can carry them back to the postseason this year.
David Haynes, Jr. takes the reigns in Whitney from Mark Byrd, who resigned this offseason. Haynes, Jr. served as the head coach at Marlin in 2020 before moving to Valley Mills as an assistant in 2021.
"Coach Haynes has really taught us that we need to be physically tough, but also mentally tough," senior offensive lineman John Dublin said. "We have to be able to know what to do in the fourth quarter when it's two minutes left and we're all tied up."
One main tenant of Haynes' new coaching style is being up-tempo and energetic. Players say it is a major step-up from the energy level at practices in the past.
"We have coaches with stopwatches out here," senior Canyon Massengale said. "Click, click, click... every time we do anything. I'm just excited for the speed and just showing people that we're gonna be more physical than you, faster than you. So, I'm just ready to see how it all turns out."
Among Whitney's key departures on the field is quarterback Garrett Peacock, who was instrumental in the Wildcats' success as a leader. Dublin and Massengale have helped fill that leadership void. Haynes' son Trey Haynes should also play an important role as an anchor in the middle of the Whitney defense.
After reaching the area round in 2021, the Wildcats have higher aspirations in mind this season.
"I'm a believer that we can win here at Whitney," Haynes said. "I believe that we can be a deep playoff team. So them getting that weight off their back and trying to take the next step was great. Let's see if they can go in the right direction."
2022 FOOTBALL SCHEDULE:
8/26 at Troy 7:30
9/2 vs Hillsboro 7:30
9/9 vs Dallas Inspired Vision* 7:30
9/16 at West* 7:30
9/30 vs Dallas Madison* 7:30
10/7 at Dallas Life Oak Cliff* 7:30
10/14 vs Dallas A+ Academy* 7:30
10/21 at Maypearl* 7:30
10/28 vs Grandview* 7:30
11/4 at Dallas Gateway Charter* 7:30
Click here for more 2022 season previews.