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2011 preview: Mabton Vikings

Here is a preview of the Mabton Vikings for the 2011 SCAC football season:

Coach: Trevor Curtis (1st year).

Last league title: 1972 (split Tri-Valley title with Kiona-Benton).

Last playoff berth: 2005 (Class 2B).

Home field: Mabton High School.

Returning starters

POS YR HT WT

Josh Carrasco WR/DB Jr. 5-8 150

Carlos Gesteleum FB/LB Sr. 5-10 160

Carlos Rendon OL/DL Jr. 5-8 180

Others to watch

POS YR HT WT

Bryan Arellano OL/DL Sr. 5-10 205

Michael Chavez C/DL So. 5-8 200

Adrian Gutierrez RB/LB Jr. 5-9 180

Isaiah Martinez QB/DB So. 5-7 140

Emilio Mireles RB/LB Jr. 5-5 150

Daniel Reyes OL/DL Jr. 5-7 180

Quick hits

* Curtis takes over as the third coach in three years and faces the monumental task of trying to turn the Vikings program around. Curtis was a volunteer on the coaching staff last year and has never been a head coach at the high school level.

* Mabton has just 28 kids out, but Curtis is hoping to provide some stability and plans on staying for more than one season.

* With only three starters back, the team will be learning on the fly a bit. The Vikings also lost second-team all-SCAC East linebacker Noe Gutierrez and honorable mention defensive back Josh Strickland.

* Gesteleum is switching from center to fullback.

* Gutierrez and Carrasco are the only players with much of any experience back from last season, but it isn't much.

Outlook

While Mabton won't be competing for a league title this season, the Vikings still are hoping to improve.

"I'm going into it wanting to teach them how to play football," Curtis said. "And for them to enjoy it and compete. We are just going to come out and work hard."

With such a tiny enrollment -- only 217 in grades 10-12 -- Mabton is at a disadvantage, but the Vikings were competitive early in the season last year.

"I really want to try and improve from last year," Curtis said. "They had opportunities and just didn't come through. We just want to compete and get better than last year and get better every year.

"I don't want to be one year and done. I just want to do what I can."

If Curtis can provide some stability for the Vikings, then the team's chances at improving are much better.

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