Rodney Vincent expects big things for season 22
After a strong 2021 season, Rodney Vincent hopes it all goes down in his second season at Shallowwater.
After arriving from Cedar Park Vista Ridge, Vincent coached the Mustangs to a 10-3 record, undefeated in district play. Shallowwater went three rounds deep in the playoffs but fell to Whitesboro to end its season.
Having only arrived in July last season, Vincent has been impressed with how his side have adapted to their pistol attack and 4-2-5 defence. Now in a new district, 2-3A Division I, he spent the offseason working on Shallowwater’s discipline and fitness, hoping an improvement in those could bring the Mustangs closer to a state championship. .
“The biggest thing for me is that I didn’t have a full offseason last year,” he said. “We really focused on strength and conditioning. I also spent time educating them about nutrition. That’s what we really want to accomplish.
To assist Vincent in these areas, the Mustangs “board of directors”, a group of eight players elected by the team, act as team captains. Each council player drafts teams of 10 to develop team workouts and community service projects to participate in. Teams compete against each other and coaches award points based on the projects they complete. Points are also awarded if a team averaged an A grade in school.
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Some of these community service projects include helping people with disabilities move, helping teachers with classroom arrangements, providing free meals during holidays, and helping Shallowwater Primary School organize graduations. from kindergarten. Points are awarded at Vincent’s sole discretion, with no fixed number of points for projects.
The board of directors includes seniors Kaleb Cox, Trevor Winn, Joseph Reyes, Josh Grimes, Carter Gillson; and juniors Cannon Reed, Luke Fisher and Nick Molina. Fisher’s team won the contest, having completed the most community service projects.
Vincent believes the council not only develops kids to be leaders later in life, but inspires Mustangs to give back to their community.
“We pride ourselves on trying to get out into the community,” Vincent said. “If someone has a need in the community, we will try to help them. There are many opportunities for us to serve at different events. They go out there and compete. It’s a big problem.
On the pitch, Vincent wants Shallowwater’s passing game to improve as well.
Five players — senior Brooks Carter, juniors Eli Bowe and Cooper Manning, and sophomores Clayton Vincent and Hudson Franklin — are all battling for the starting quarterback spot. According to Vincent, there is no clear leader but he “likes the progress they are making”.
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Whoever starts will throw to receivers like Winn and Grimes, the latter coming off a first-team all-district selection last season. Vincent loves Winn’s play and versatility, using the reigning district utility player of the year on offensive, defensive and special teams.
Vincent considers Grimes Shallowwater’s best deep-ball threat, relying on him to make plays on the outside.
“He’s a really good threat for us,” Vincent said of Grimes. “He caught a lot of deep balls for us last year and can adapt to football very well. Offensively, he is going to be very good for us.
On defense, Vincent wants to see the Mustangs improve in coverage. Shallowwater is returning senior safety and all-district selection Evan Haseloff, who will play alongside Winn and Grimes in the secondary.
As part of their 4-2-5 defense, the Mustangs line up three safeties on most plays. Vincent believes this formation gives his team the space to be mobile, make plays and take to the field to fight the pass. This season, he just wants to see more of those plays made.
“As far as our coverage goes, we need to improve in that area,” Vincent said. “We have enough safeties and (defensive backs) on the pitch to help with the passing game, so being able to drop everyone is helpful for us.”
Coming off their fifth straight winning season, the Mustangs will be hoping their focus on discipline, stamina, passing and coverage will lead them to a state championship after many shortfalls.
“I hope to see real consistency on both sides of the ball,” Vincent said. “I’m talking about being able to play at a high level all the time. Being able to be disciplined in many areas. We are proud of the hidden distance. We want to make sure that we are excellent in special teams and that we are the least penalized team in the game.
“But…I want to put a team out there this year, like every year, that plays harder than anyone we play and does it with class.”
Shallow Water Mustangs
The head coach —Rodney Vincent
records 2021 — 10-3 overall, 5-0 in District 1-3A Division I
Basic offense — Pistol
Base defense — 4-2-5
Return letters — 20
Returning off./def. entries — 7/6
Best Feedback —WR/DB Trevor Winn, Sr.; OL/DL Kasen Long, Jr.; RB/LB Kaleb Cox, Sr.; WR/DB Josh Grimes, Sr.; OL/DL Joseph Reyes, Sr.; RB/LB Cannon Reed, Jr.
* – denotes District 2-3A Division I game
Aug. 26 – vs. Monahans, 7 p.m.
September 2 — at Seminole, 7 p.m.
September 9 — at Hereford, 7 p.m.
Sept. 16 – vs. Midland Greenwood, 7 p.m.
September 23 — vs. Idalou, 7 p.m.
Oct. 1 – vs. Pecos, 2:30 p.m. at Andrews
Oct. 14 — vs. Dalhart*, 7 p.m.
October 21 — at Bushland*, 7 p.m.
Oct. 28 – vs. Muleshoe*, 7 p.m.
November 4 — at Amarillo River Road*, 7 p.m.