Mesquite has been one of the biggest turnarounds this year. In 2015, the Wildcats were 5-6 and missed the playoffs.
Over the offseason, Chad Degrenier came in as the head coach, and Mesquite is off to a 5-2 start. Part of that jumpstart has been the running game, which puts up over 200 yards per game. Leading the way is senior Joseph Eubanks, who has rushed for 667 yards and seven touchdowns.
Eubanks is quiet off the field, but his play on the field is loud. The 5-foot-11, 210-pound running back can pack a punch when he gets the ball.
“When he gets out there, he just wants to run over people,” Degrenier said. “It’s fun to watch.”
DeGrenier said the transition in the offseason was fueled by their conditioning and strength programs. They saw results early in the season when the Wildcats were punishing opponents on both sides of the ball.
“We definitely think we are in better shape than the other team, so we want to run all over them,” Eubanks said. “And when they decide to play the run, we will pass on them after that.”
Eubanks has embraced Mesquite’s physical mentality, and it makes sense he thrives on contact – he was a linebacker in his junior year and tallied 73 tackles. Seeing the transition take place within the program and playing on both sides of the ball has helped him step up as a leader.
“I try to keep everyone’s heads up and make sure we’re all playing together as a family no matter what because everything is done as a unit,” Eubanks said.
The Wildcats will have to flex their muscle in the final three regular season games against Vista Grande, Williams Field and Campo Verde.