JENNIFER FIERRO • STAFF WRITER
MARBLE FALLS — Marble Falls High School fans can get their first look at the 2016 football team May 23.
The Mustangs will play in their purple and white spring game at 6 p.m. at Mustang Stadium, 2101 Mustang Drive. Admission is free.
And if the contest wasn’t enough to entice fans, the Marble Falls Athletic Booster Club is hosting a tailgate party from 4-6 p.m. at the stadium during which fans can eat, listen to live music and purchase club memberships and merchandise, including football yard signs featuring the name of their favorite player.
Barbecue sandwiches with chips and a drink will be sold for $7.
Proceeds from the tailgate party go to the club, which is charged with helping offset budget shortfalls for the school’s teams.
As for the game, head coach Matt Green will unveil what the players and coaches have been emphasizing since spring practice began April 25.
Among the positions fans will see in action are quarterback, where rising senior Cade Cool, rising junior Zachary Rangel and rising sophomore Andrew Stripling have been splitting repetitions.
Fans also will see bulkier and faster rising senior running backs Sam Harkins and Dalton Mayberry, a slew of receivers led by rising senior Kris Despain and rising junior Keegan Deering, and battles in the trenches.
Rising junior Daniel Sparks has moved to the defensive side of the ball, and with all-district left tackle Ryan Becker graduating, the Mustangs will have two new starters on the offensive line.
Defensively, Marble Falls is looking to improve on a stingy unit that kept the Mustangs in most of their games last season.
In fact, the defense has shined during spring drills by forcing turnovers, pursuing the ball and making the quarterbacks uncomfortable, according to coaches. Oftentimes, scrimmages were called draws because of the equal number of offensive touchdowns and turnovers.
It’s unlikely either unit will show more than the base offense and defense. Still, there’s plenty of optimism around the field house because of the gains in the weight room, the players’ understanding of the schemes and the competition at every position that has improved skill and added depth.