Football success isn’t exactly unprecedented at Lamar Consolidated, where the Mustangs won a state title in 2007. But the program fell on hard times earlier this decade, suffering through a winless 2016 season, and a six-year playoff drought that the Mustangs snapped a year ago, revitalizing this proud program.
CJ Maduka, SR LB: We shocked Rosenberg, we shocked the community, most people didn’t think we could do it but we believed in ourselves and we knew that if we just perservered through the offseason and boot camps and 2-a-days, that our hard work was soon to be paid off.
Taye McWilliams, SR RB: Everybody crying, happy, excited, bc the majority are used to going 2-8, bad records and stuff 1:36 We feel the whole community behind our back, it’s a big difference changer going from empty stands to big stands and everybody supporting you
Cameron Dotson: The talk about Lamar Consolidated has changed, more people are ‘hey, how’s the team doing,’ it’s not so much as this, ‘Oh, Lamar Consolidated, did they lose again,’ it’s more, ‘Oh, how’s team doing, I heard you guys are winning,’ all this good stuff
LaFavers: We could tell the gap was closing, the culture was changing, we were trying to do things right, and build this thing from the ground up and not cut corners, you could see it was coming it was just a matter of when, we were fortunate to get to the playoffs last year and it validates what you’re doing and gives you that extra energy to keep going and build upon and hopefully we can get back this year as well
5th-year Head Coach Rick LaFavers oversaw the rebuilding process. The problems with the program were deeper than just the win-loss record, and the Mustangs turnaround began in the classroom, long before the results improved on the gridiron.
LaFavers: We celebrated and fought for off the field victories as well that were maybe behind the scenes that people didn’t see...We really harped on those things, individually and character things, and then our grades got better, the behavior in the classroom, and that’s where that internal pride of being the best person I can be, and we put that together collectively and over time, the wins came
Cameron Dotson, SR WR: The coaches can only say so much, but when it clicks inside, everybody else is like okay, we have to take this into our own hands to change around the program and when we fed off of that the culture just changed and the mindset changed, we all wanted better things for everybody around it
The Mustangs are a tightly-knit group, featuring a roster mostly comprised of players that grew up together from a young age and forged a strong bond by sticking together through some losing seasons.
CJ Maduka, SR LB: This group as a whole, it’s just the chemistry. I feel like our chemistry is even better than it was in 2007, we’re all brothers, we hang out at each other’s houses, we’ll workout together
BJ Harris, SR QB: We go out, have our own team dinners, hang out, have sleepovers still, play games, just to get around each other more and get comfortable
LaFavers: Just good, high character guys who have grown up together, we’re very much a home-grown team, a lot of guys all went to elementary school and jr high, and just love each other and trust each other and lay it on the line for their brothers, and that is kind of the secret sauce of why we are where we are right now
Lamar Consolidated is currently 6-2 and closing in on another playoff berth. And when the postseason rolls around, the Mustangs are potential dark horses in 5A Division Two.
BJ Harris, SR QB: This year feels different bc we’re more experienced and I feel like we know what we’re doing this year
Dotson: We know what it’s like to get to the playoffs and now we want more, we’re hungry
CJ Maduka, SR LB: We haven’t reached our full potential, we still have a little bit of mistakes per game, but all we know is we’re getting better every single game, we’re practicing hard every single day, and we’re stacking brick on top of brick on top of brick.