VYPE caught up with Tyrone Brown, a top 150 recruit by 247Sports and member of the West Orange-Stark Football team, for a quick Q&A.
VYPE: What makes the rivalry with Silsbee so special to the community of West Orange-Stark and to the players?
Tyrone: It's not special to me, but it's always a hard fought game between two great teams that fight until the end. Everybody in the community knows that when we play Silsbee, they're going to give us everything they have in order to win the game.
VYPE: Explain what it's like to play for legendary West Orange-Stark coach Cornell Thompson and what it means to be a Mustang?
Tyrone: It's a great feeling to play for Coach T, he is the best in the business, we can always depend on him to know what he is doing. It means everything to be a Mustang, I always looked up to players like Earl and Deionte Thompson, and now I'm living the dream.
VYPE: What will you miss most about playing Texas High School Football?
Tyrone: I will miss the playoffs and the competition we play every year. Texas is the best place for football most of Texas football players play at the next level.
VYPE: What are you looking forward to the most in playing Division 1 Football?
Tyrone: I'm looking forward to being great at the next level, I want people to know who Tyrone Brown is. I also want to win and want to get my degree in 3 years.
VYPE: In five years what will Mustang fans remember most about Tyrone Brown?
Tyrone: In five years I want the Mustang family to say I was a good team player who never changed, never forgot where I came from and that I was a great football player who carried himself well on and off the field.
West Orange-Stark head coach Cornel Thompson does not mince words when it comes to last years 9-5 team, the first time a Thompson-coached WO-S team has ever finished a season without at least 10 wins.
"We had no senior leadership" said Thompson, "we played fourteen games and only won 9, that's unacceptable. The seniors didn't know if they wanted to play the game or play around. If nothing else we'll be a better team this year with our attitude."
From 2014 to 2017 WO-S was a mini-dynasty under Thompson.
Going 57-5 during that time with four consecutive trips to Dallas, winning back-to-back titles in 2016 and 2017. Last season Thompson won his 100th game at WO-S. The 21-14 win over Jasper brought his career winning percentage as Mustang head coach to .854 (100-17).
"We've been to the fourth round every year since I've been here," said Thompson.
WO-S brings a fresh movement into this season as they return 16 lettermen with eight starting positions. Their main strength will be the line with OG's Jordan Garrett, Darby Jones and OT Quincy Ledet. An unlikely star could be sophomore RB Elijah Gales who rushed for almost 500 yards in 2018.
"We're primarily a junior ball club," said Thompson.
"The jury is still out. We don't know if they can perform or not, they have the athletic ability. I'm going to find out if they have the desire."
In what is typically the area's top defense the Mustangs bring back LB Tyrone Brown and DT Shemar Manaway. Thompson is not quite ready to declare this years defense a dominate force.
"Most of our experience comes up front in the 'forcing' unit," said Thompson.
"Our philosophy is 'stop the run, control the pass' and we don't know yet about our secondary. Last year we started a sophomore and a freshman and gave up 15 points a game. We normally give up less than 10."
There's a feeling West Orange-Stark will be ready by August 30 when they travel to Nederland to start the season.
"We'll be a better team this year," said Thompson, "if nothing else we'll have a better attitude."
PODCAST: Cornel Thompson of West Orange-Stark Football