Previewing the 2019 Newcastle football schedule
The Newcastle Bobcats finished last season 7-4 (4-0 district) and took an early exit from the playoffs. Head coach Julian Menchaca will have every starter returning on both sides of the ball and will try to improve on last year’s disappointing early exit. There are no new teams on the schedule this year however, some teams will have a lot of new faces. The home and away games will flip from where they were last year. All games are scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m.
At Aspermont, Aug. 30
Aspermont finished the 2018 season 9-3 (3-1) and were regional semifinalists. The Hornets will be returning six starters (three on each side of the ball) for this year’s campaign. Running back/linebacker Rowdy Bradley returns for the Hornets and at 6-0, 175 lbs, is a troublemaker on both sides of the ball. Bradley is Dave Campbell’s Texas Football’s pick for preseason defensive MVP in Asermont’s division and accounted for 53 touchdowns on offense and 125 tackles on defense. Although Newcastle lost 66-18 in last year’s meeting J.D. Brice found success racking up 294 total yards. Aspermont will be a contender in what will likely be a three-team race for the District 4-1A Division 1 title.
Vs. Gordon, Sept. 6
Head coach Mike Reed will be in his second season leading the Longhorns when Gordon travels to Newcastle in Week 2 of the football schedule. Although the Longhorns finished 2018 with a 4-7 (2-1) record, they were bi-district finalists. Senior quarterback Brandon Mahan returns to lead the Longhorns and will have a reliable target in wide receiver Charles Mowels as well as help from running backs Clay Berry and Hoss Rouse. The Bobcats were defeated by the Longhorns 65-34 in last year’s meeting. J.D. Brice struggled in the game with a fumble and two interceptions.
At Blackwell, Sept. 13
Bobcat fans would rather forget about the last time these two teams matched up and I will not remind you. It was not pretty. In 2018, the Hornets finished 11-1 (3-0) and were regional semifinalists. This was the second 11-1 season in a row for the team. With eight starters returning, including quarterback Michael Lowry and running back/linebacker Cameron Coldiron, both DCTF preseason MVPs, there is little doubt that Blackwell will be able to dominate again this year.
At Woodson, Sept. 20
Brady Hibbitts enters his first season as coach at Woodson and has a squad that will have a good chance at competing with Throckmorton for the division crown. Hibbitts will have eight returning starters and hopes to make a second consecutive playoff appearance after breaking a six-year drought with a 3-6 (1-1) record last year. Returning for the Cowboys will be the duo of quarterback/cornerback Preston Collins and running back/linebacker Chance Mackey. Newcastle had little trouble with Woodson last year in the Bobcats’ 45-0 victory and that will likely be the case again this year.
For the rest of the story, see the Saturday, Aug. 3 edition of The Graham Leader.