Things are changing in Little Elm.
A year ago, the Lobos were 2-8. The year before that they were 3-7. Before that, 4-6.
This season, though, Kendrick Brown has his program 5-0 coming off a monumental 59-56 victory at Prosper.
“We’ve got one of the toughest districts in the state of Texas,” Brown said of District 5-6A, which also features Denton Guyer, McKinney Boyd, and Allen. “Last Friday night versus Prosper, that was big for our program and big for everything there.”
Little Elm is still new to the 6A scene as it only moved up to that level last year, and the Lobos simply weren’t ready for the step-up in competition.
Coach Brown would even tell you that himself.
But Little Elm was young, and that youth had to grow up at some point. This year, the Lobos returned 42 lettermen, including 10 starters on offense and eight on defense.
“We returned a lot of kids, and they attacked the offseason,” he said. “Our mission was to get bigger, stronger, and faster. We needed to equip our team and surround them with the depth to compete at the 6A level.”
Little Elm is a squad this has a lot of veteran leadership. Brown highlighted quarterback John Mateer as a big leader for the Lobos. Mateer has been starting at quarterback since halfway through his freshman season, and he has been getting better every year. After throwing for 2,913 yards and 28 touchdowns last year, Mateer has not missed a beat and thrown for 1,023 yards and 14 touchdowns.
He also has the weapons to exploit defenses. His wide receivers, Josh Joseph, Walter Roddy-White, and Dylan Evans all have Division I offers. On the defensive side of the ball, the corners have been a strong point for Little Elm. Four-star Ohio State commit Terrance Brooks and three-star Colorado commit Keyshon Mills have been locking down their sides of the field. Brooks transferred to Little Elm from Plano John Paul II for his senior season.
“I feel like we have the best corners in the state,” Brown said. “Keyshon Mills and Terrance Brooks are beasts. They help lead the charge defensively.”
What has really changed this team is the ability to run the football. Last year, Brown admitted that the offensive line could not handle running the football. But now, with an improved offensive line and converted running back Jalen Sessions, Little Elm can run and throw with the best of them.
The Lobos are also battle-tested. Their game against Plano West was the first test of the season which proved to be a pivotal point in the early season. Down 24-20 at the end of the third quarter, Little Elm had a huge 15-point fourth quarter to seal the win.
“These five wins has gotten us built to withstand some of those obstacles that you might have,” Brown said. “I think our kids at this point in the season, we’re standing together, we’re not getting rattled, and we are competing.”
This is a team hardened by the losses of last year and inspired by the wins of this year. One of the goals of this team is to be undefeated at home, something that will be test throughout the season. If they continue to be there for one another and have the resilience to compete in the state’s toughest district, then who knows what is in store for the Little Elm Lobos.
“We’re 5-0 and that is not something we take lightly,” Brown said. “It took hard work to get to this point and its going to continue to take hard work to get wins in this district. If we do hit a bump in the road, we need to make sure we get the wheels back on the bus and play hard. I’m proud of this team.”
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