By Bill McCaughey
For The Fort Bend Star
Opponents looking past Clements may be in for a surprise this year.
Coach Bobby Darnell is back after spending five winning years at Ridge Point, and is focused on changing the culture at Clements.
“We have worked hard the past five months preparing our minds and body to be the toughest team on game nights,” Darnell said.
Leading the change will be two-way lineman Rashawn Slater. Last year he made the all-district team on both offense and defense, and this year was named to VYPE Magazine’s 2016 All Season Team.
“Rashawn is one of the most talented athletes I have ever been fortunate to coach. His drive and leadership is unparalleled,” Darnell said.
Slater has committed to Northwestern University, and intends to study business.
Robert Dominguez played safety last year, but will be starting at running back this year.
“He is a firecracker that no one knows about. Robert will be one of the focal points of our offense as we are going to find multiple ways to get him the ball. He will also have a large responsibility on the defensive side of the ball at safety,” Darnell said.
Dominguez really likes the attitude Darnell has brought to the program.
“He has increased the intensity everywhere, the practice field, the weight room, everywhere,” Dominguez said.
Zyshonne Boykins will provide some outside speed to the running game. Like last year, Boykins will play both running back and cornerback this year.
“I will play wherever the team wants me,” Boykins said.
Darnell expects quarterback Nick Infante to take charge of the offense.
“He has the tools to be a big time play maker, both with his arm and his legs,” Darnell said.
According to Infante, “Coach Darnell has brought a winning attitude to the program. We are going to be a different team this year.”
Darnell has also installed an up-tempo offense, which features more passing.
“I love the fast style of play,” Infante said. “We will be passing more this year.”
This season may be a breakout year for junior wide receiver Jordan Khalil.
“He’s fast, has fantastic hands, and will compete every snap,” Darnell said.
Khalil started at cornerback and wide receiver as a sophomore and will go both ways this year.
“I like both positions,” he said. “I just like being on the field.”
Blake Jameson is also expected to breakout on defense this year.
“His mixture of pass coverage ability and run stopping force fits our style of defense,” Darnell said.
While the culture change may be taking place, this year’s record may depend upon endurance. Most of the key players will be playing on both sides of the line of scrimmage, and fatigue or injury may be a factor.
Darnell said he would like to come away with a victory in their first game against Sam Rayburn. A win there may lead to a surprising season.
|Won 0 Lost 10|
|Won 0 Lost 8|
|2016 (Home Games Bold)|
|Week 1||Thu Aug 25 6:00pm Sam Rayburn @ Hall|
|Week 2||Sat Sep 3 6:00pm Alvin @ Hall|
|Week 3||Fri Sep 9 7:00pm Clear Lake @ Veteran’s|
|Week 5||Sat Sep 24 6:00pm Travis @ Mercer|
|Week 6||Fri Sep 30 7:00pm Ridge Point @ Hall|
|Week 7||Fri Oct 7 7:00pm Austin @ Mercer|
|Week 8||Thu Oct 13 6:00pm Bush @ Mercer|
|Week 9||Thu Oct 20 6:00pm Hightower @ Mercer|
|Week 10||Fri Oct 28 7:00pm Kempner @ Mercer|
|Week 11||Fri Nov 4 7:00pm Dulles @ Mercer|
|Returning||OG Rashawn Slater Sr #72|
|All-District:||DE Rashawn Slater Sr #72|
|2016 Preseason||VYPE Magazine All Season 2016|
|Recognition||OL Rashawn Slater|