Mineral Wells Area News

Santo Wildcats looking to claim district crown in 2023

Santo Wildcats looking to claim district crown in 2023
August 22
13:55 2023

 

By DAVID MAY

Special to Mineral Wells Area News

 

Devon Mann is entering his seventh season as the Santo Wildcats head coach.

Wildcat Preview

The Santo Wildcats find themselves once again chasing that elusive district title. Four times in the last five seasons, and five times in the last seven, the Wildcats have finished district runners-up.

Is this the year Santo climbs all the way to the top of District 8 in Class 2A-2? Some pre-season predictors think this is Santo’s year, though the Wildcats will certainly be pushed, especially by Collinsville, which boasts Dave Campbell Texas Football’s pre-season offensive and defensive MVP selections.

 

Still, DCTF picks Santo to finish first ahead of Collinsville. The Pirates won the district title last season, handing visiting Santo its lone district defeat. Collinsville visits Santo this season.

 

The question for 2023 and seventh-year Head Coach Devon Mann is whether the Wildcats can reload coming off a 9-3 campaign in 2022 and an 11-win season in 2021. Santo went two rounds deep in the playoffs last year and three rounds deep the prior season.

 

One thing the Wildcats will not have going for them, at least early in the season, is home field advantage. Santo was scheduled to open its season against Electra at home in beautiful W.A. Lewis Stadium. Citing the summer drought, excessive heat and watering restrictions, school officials deemed its field unplayable. Friday’s season opener has been moved to the artificial turf of Ram Stadium in Mineral Wells. Because of the daytime heat, kickoff has been pushed to 7:30 p.m.

Having won 20 games the last two seasons, the Class 2A-2 Wildcats hope to reload and this season claim that elusive district title.

 

Santo lost 14 varsity players from its 2022 squad, returning 10. With just three starters returning on offense and four on defense, Coach Mann will be looking for a host of new starters on both sides of the ball to step in and step up.

 

Top returning juniors include Memphis Prosper, Kalder Holbrook and Hunter Branham. The Wildcats’ interior will be anchored by senior center and nose guard Brett Hamilton, an imposing player listed at 6-foot, 275 pounds. Hamilton was credited with 50 tackles last season.

 

TEAM: Santo Wildcats

Class/District: District 8-Class 2A-Division II-Region II

2022 Record: (Overall/District): 9-3/5-1

District Finish: 2nd

Type of offense: Flexbone

Type of defense: 4-4

Head Coach: Devon Mann

Years as head coach/ years at current school: 7

 

SCHEDULE

Aug. 25 – Electra (7:30 p.m. @ Mineral Wells Ram Stadium)

Sept. 1 – at Goldthwaite (7 p.m.)

Sept. 8 – Hamilton  (7 p.m.)

Sept. 15 – at Rio Vista

Sept. 22 – Bye

Sept. 29 – at Muenster* (7 p.m.)

Oct. 6 – Chico* (7 p.m.)

Oct. 13 – at Lindsay* (7 p.m.)

Oct. 20 – Collinsville* (7 p.m.)

Oct. 27 – at Celeste* (7 p.m.)

Nov. 3 – Era* (7 p.m.)

* Denotes district game

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