The Muenster Hornets didn’t win their second consecutive state title, but they still enjoyed a wealth of success this season.
Despite losing several key seniors from last season’s title run, the Hornets went 12-2 and made another deep playoff run before being eliminated by the eventual state champs Mart.
Several Hornets were named to the 9-2A all-district team.
Junior kicker Trey McTaggart was not only named to the all-district team, but was selected to the Associated Press’s Class 2A all-state team.
While McTaggart didn’t have the gaudy numbers he did last season, he still piled up the field goals and extra points.
Muenster head coach Brady Carney lauded McTaggart for how valuable he was to this season’s squad.
“It’s not often you score 110 touchdowns in a season and this year was around 70,” Carney said. “He’s a guy that most of the teams in Texas don’t have with his accuracy and leg strength. He’s been a big luxury the past two years and fortunately we have him one more year.”
Senior quarterback Parker McGrew was named MVP of the district and he threw for 25 touchdowns and 1,839 yards before breaking his collarbone in the Hornets’ final playoff game against Mart.
With many of the Hornets’ offensive weapons graduating, McGrew put the team on his back.
He also rushed for 15 touchdowns and 931 yards.
“We knew these guys had to step up into those leadership roles,” Carney said of his offensive players. “McGrew did the same as last year and last year, I felt like we had different offensive weapons. This year, he had to be the main ball-carrier in games. The offense was more on his back than it has been.”
Senior running back Logan Pagel was named offensive MVP and he totaled eight touchdowns on the season.
Carney said while Pagel was a great runner, his ability to be a receiver was crucial to the Hornets’ offense this season.
“We needed to get him 10-15 touches a game, whether it was receiving or rushing,” Carney said of Pagel. “He was one of those kids that had to step up this year to take the place of all those seniors that we lost. His leadership was one of those things we leaned on heavily. I’ve always wanted to get different people involved. I didn’t want Parker to carry the ball 25 times a game.”
Senior linebacker Nolan Bayer was tagged as the defensive MVP of the district.
Carney saw Bayer as the quarterback of the defense.
“He’s the one that calls all the stunts and movements,” Carney said. “He’s been at that position for three years. It’s kind of like having a quarterback for three years. That’s a big deal. He was the leading tackler and he did a good job of leading the defense.”
Senior offensive and defensive lineman Kody Walterscheid had a special category created for him in the district honors because of how dominating he was on both sides of the ball.
“That’s not normally a superlative, but the other coaches wanted to respect his ability,” Carney said. “Kody started for us since he was a freshman. We can use him as a defensive tackle and we started him at defensive end this year, but we moved him back. His size and strength allows him to have success, but he works so hard. I could go on and on. He will be truly missed.”
The Muenster coaching staff was also named the staff of the year in the district and Carney was quick to give credit to his assistant coaches.
“It needs to be coaching staff of the year because there isn’t a lot of us,” Carney said. “Coach Mark Stevens stepped up and did a tremendous job filling in for coach [Jeff] Smiley. That also put a little more on coach [Josh] Wheeler and coach Wes Johnson, who did a tremendous job as well. The tough thing is for a school our size, is they also have to coach the junior high and the JV. We don’t have a separate staff.”
Kolby Klement, Garret Hess, Tom Davis, Nathan Hacker and Major Eldrige were all also named to the first-team offense.
Pagel, Davis, Zach Sanders and Garrett Bindel all were named to the first-team defense.
Junior wideout and cornerback Danny Luttmer was named to both the offensive and defensive first teams and Carney said he was integral to both sides of the ball.
“The thing with Danny is, not only is he very talented, but at 6-foot-5 at our level, it’s hard to throw on a guy like that,” Carney said. “His athletic ability has been seen from football to baseball to basketball. Last year as a sophomore, he was a little under the radar. This year, he drew more double teams and more attention than he did last year. It made it tougher, but he still did well despite missing two games.”
Patrick Hayslip can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter at @PatrickHayslip