Mustangs to start season with unfamiliar opponents

The 2014 football schedule for Sweetwater High School, which was released today by Mustang head football coach Shane Mobley following Monday's biennial realignment by the University Interscholastic League, is a blend of the familiar and the unfamiliar.It also includes just two teams that had a winning record this past season, although six went to the playoffs in 2013.Of the 10 games on Sweetwater's 2014 schedule, five will be against schools the Mustangs faced the past two years — current District 4-3A foes Midland Greenwood, Monahans and Snyder along with Andrews and Breckenridge. Greenwood and Monahans will be joining Sweetwater in its new District 2-4A, Division II and face the Mustangs in back-to-back weeks in October. But for the first time in awhile, Snyder won't be in Sweetwater's district after being placed in District 3-4A, Division I along with Wylie, Big Spring, Stephenville and Brownwood. The Tigers will still keep their rivalry with the Mustangs, however, as will Andrews and Breckenridge. The other five games on the 2014 schedule include three schools — new 2-4A, Division II opponents Fort Stockton, Lamesa and Pecos — that haven't been on Sweetwater's schedule since back in the 1990s when they were Class 4A district rivals.And it would take an oldtimer to tell you when the first two opponents on next year's schedule — Lubbock High and Muleshoe — last played Sweetwater.Sweetwater hosts Lubbock High in its season opener Aug. 29 as part of what will be the 10th annual Sammy Baugh Classic. The Westerners (2-8 in 2013) have been in District 4-4A the past two years, but the UIL has now placed them in District 4-5A along with Abilene Cooper, Lubbock Cooper, Plainview and San Angelo Lake View.Sweetwater then goes to Muleshoe (3-7 in 2013) for its second game Sept. 5, before returning to Mustang Bowl to face Breckenridge (4-7 in 2013) for its homecoming contest on Sept. 12. That will be followed by another home date against Snyder (4-8 in 2013) on Sept. 19. The Mustangs go to Andrews (5-7 in 2013) to end non-district play Sept. 26.After an open date, Sweetwater kicks off District 2-4A, Division II play Oct. 10 with a trip to Fort Stockton (2-9 in 2013) and goes to Greenwood (2-8 in 2013) on Oct. 17.Sweetwater's first of two District 2-4A, Division II home games will be Oct. 24 against Monahans (8-4 in 2013), which is also the first team with a winning record this past year on the 2014 schedule. It's worth noting, however, that the Loboes lost 28-9 to Sweetwater a year ago, which was their only defeat in district play.Sweetwater then goes to Pecos (7-4), the other team with a winning 2013 record on its schedule, on Oct. 31 before finishing the season at home on Nov. 7 against Lamesa (0-10 in 2013). The Tornadoes are coached by David Ritchey, a former Mustang quarterback who guided Sweetwater to the 1991 state semifinals. He did so under the tutelage of his father, legendary Sweetwater coach Tom Ritchey.Sweetwater will also have two preseason scrimmages — on Aug. 15 at San Angelo Lake View, and on Aug. 21 when the team hosts Clyde at the Bowl.