On a defense looking to retool in certain spots, Texas City linebackers Mykahl Brow, Marquez Demyers and D’Vante Taylor will play critical roles for the Stings early this season.
“These three linebackers, along with the safety, are going to be the core of our defense,” Texas City head coach Leland Surovik said. “They’re going to make all the calls, they’re going to get us lined up, and they’re going to be flying around.”
Especially key for the Stings defense is for their young, inexperienced defensive line to have the veteran linebackers playing behind them.
“Their play helps out tremendously, so we’re excited about what they can do,” Surovik said. “They like to hit, and they like to fly around, and we’re going to try to get as many of them on the field as we can.”
Demyers played inside linebacker all of last season while his counterparts for this year played more hybrid- or combo-type roles in the linebacker corps in 2016, Surovik said.
“They have returning experience, we just need them to step up and be leaders and role models,” Surovik said.
That mentorship role seems to be one the trio is ready to take on, as they beamed over the potential of their young defensive line.
“They’re young, but they have a motor,” Brow said.
Texas City will be primarily running a 3-3 stack defense this season to make best use of its current personnel, which is strong at the linebacker and defensive back spots but young on the D-line.
“We ran a little bit of 3-3 last year, but this year, we felt it was in our best interests to put those guys on the field instead of more young pups on the defensive line,” Surovik said. “We’re just trying to be quick on the field and make some good decisions.”
The linebacker trio has their sights set on a deep playoff run after the Stings finished just outside of the playoff picture last season. In addition to avoiding the injury woes that plagued the team last year, the group said maintaining their intensity and staying positive throughout the season will be key to a better campaign in 2017.
In last week’s loss to Clear Lake, the defense showed tenacity in not letting the game get out of hand when it was looking like it might, and this week Texas City faces another tough test with Galveston County rival Dickinson when their game commences 7 p.m. Friday at Sam Vitanza Stadium.