Lions enter season with new football district￼
By Kyle Mooty
As if seven new staff members wasn’t enough of a change for the Lockhart Lions this fall, they will also be playing in a district – District 13 in 5A-2 Region IV.
District 13 will consist of Lockhart, San Antonio Pieper, San Antonio Veterans Memorial, Cedar Creek, Liberty Hill, Bastrop, and Kerrville Tivy.
“I think it’s going to be very competitive,” said LHS head coach Todd Moebes, who doubles as the Lions’ athletic director. “You’ve got a team in Liberty Hill that played in the semifinals two years ago and played for the state championship last year. They’ve certainly been one of the top teams in the state of Texas. You look at the rest of them and they’re all going to be very, very competitive.”
The only school Lockhart is familiar with from recent seasons is Kerrville Tivy, which owns a 10-game winning streak over the Lions dating back to the 2012 season.
LHS will also play non-district games vs. San Antonio Southwest, Pflugerville Connally, Kyle Lehman, and San Antonio Davenport.
Lockhart was 2-8 overall last season with wins over Victoria West (33-29) and Davenport (63-42), while going 0-5 in its former District 15.
Liberty Hill lost 23-14 in the state finals to South Oak Cliff last season, capping off a 13-3 season for the Panthers. Lockhart non-district foes San Antonio Southwest and Davenport were 8-4 and 6-4, respectively.
The remaining seven teams on this year’s LHS schedule had losing records in 2021. San Antonio Veterans Memorial was 5-6, Bastrop 4-7, Pflugerville Connally 3-7, Kyle Lehman 1-9, Cedar Creek 1-9, Kerrville 1-9, and San Antonio Pieper 1-4 with a limited schedule last season. Pieper will be playing its first full season of varsity football this fall.
“I’m pleased with how we’re practicing right now,” Moebes said. “We’ve got seven new staff members (on a staff of 10). I’ve been really proud about how the staff has gelled together. I think they’ve done a great job very quick of building genuine relationships with our players. If you go to practice, you wouldn’t think they’re seeing new guys that have just been here a few days. I think that’s certainly been a credit to them and their professionalism. You notice their true love and care for kids.”
Offensive Coordinator Josh Gilbert is in his third year, along with Moebes. Defensive Coordinator Drake Dowling is in his second year in that post.
As for the district, Moebes said that aside from Kerrville Tivy it has been hard to evaluate teams he has not seen, but also said those schools are in the same boat as Lockhart.
“We really haven’t seen them on film and evaluate what they do schematically or what their personnel is,” Moebes said. “It’ll be kind of a week-to-week basis. Everybody we’re playing is going to be very competitive.”
The Lions will return last year’s District 15 Newcomer of the Year in junior Ashton Dickens at quarterback. Dickens and senior running back Sean McKinney each return as All-District performers.
Offensively, the Lions return six starters from their spread formation that did average 27.9 points per game during the season, including a 63-42 victory over San Antonio Davenport, a 50-43 loss at Kerrville Tivy, and a 49-35 loss at San Antonio Alamo Heights.
Senior Treveon Hopkins will also return in the backfield and double as an outside linebacker.
The Lions will employ other two-way players, including receivers Diante Jackson (senior) and Quavon Reese (junior). Other receivers could be Nathan Garcia, a junior who saw time as a sophomore in 2021, seniors Blake Herzog and Nate Key, and sophomore Gage Deutsch.
The line joins the LHS backfield as the most experienced corps.
“We have four back there,” Moebes said. “They are way ahead of the game.”
Left tackle will be junior Alex Richardson (6-3, 270); left guard junior Ricardo Diaz (the new starter on the line); center senior Tanner Castillo; right guard junior Brady Stephenson (6-5, 290); and right tackle senior Nick Sifuentes.
Defensively, Moebes feels “very good” about his secondary. They include returning starters Reese, and Jackson as well as returning letterman junior Trey Brown. Another new addition in the secondary is junior Bart Key.
“I feel very good with those guys,” Moebes said. “They’re playing real well. I think they’re gelling really well.”
The Lions also return two outside linebackers — Hopkins and senior Josh Ramos.
The inside linebackers will be between junior Zakaya Gathings, sophomore Nathaniel Gonzales, junior Tyler Bell, and junior Edward Mendoza.
The defensive Line: will have five new starters – nose guards Derik Rivas ((senior), Jonathan Creel (senior), and defensive ends Trent Holcomb (junior), Joseph Blue (junior), and Tyler Staton (junior).
“Those guys are improving daily,” Moebes said. “With four or five offensive linemen coming back and everybody in the backfield coming back, those guys are a little bit ahead of us right now, but that’s OK.”
The special team duties – place-kicking and punting – will be handled by junior Omar Ocampo. “He’s got a good leg,” Moebes said. “He can put something in from 40.”
Overall, Moebes is especially happy with his team’s work ethic.
“They’re doing a good job and getting better every day,” he said. “They’re working really hard.”
* * *
26 — San Antonio Southwest (HOME)
2 — at Pflugerville Connally
9 — Kyle Lehman (HOME)
16 — at San Antonio Davenport
23 — *Cedar Creek (HOME)
30 — at *San Antonio Veterans Memorial
7 — Open
14 — *Liberty Hill (HOME)
21 — at *Bastrop
28 — *San Antonio Pieper (HOME)
4 — at *Kerrville Tivy
* — district game