Ivory, Teate eager to lead young Mustangs

Published 9:54 am Wednesday, August 30, 2017

By Ronnie Hughes

Leader Correspondent


WEST ORANGE — One mention of West Orange-Stark instantly brings to mind the Mustangs and their amazing back-to-back state championships (2015,2016). The Mustangs have gone to the Texas UIL 4AII state title game three years in a row.

The Mustangs have a much different looking squad than years past after losing 18 seniors from last season.

The loss of players merely means it’s time for the next man up. They don’t rebuild, but rather reload with a solid core of returners to help mentor some of the younger guys on what it means to be a champion. Some of the new faces seen this season are not so new and have actually gotten playing time last season including in the post season and championship game.

First Team all-district lineman Paul Ivory is a prime example of the leadership that returns to the Mustang locker oom this season. Ivory is starting his third year on varsity, which means he was part of the back-to-back championship teams.

“I have been to and played in these state games, so, I know what it takes and the hard work we’re going to have to put in to get back there,” Ivory said. “ I will be able to step up this season and show the younger guys that it takes all week to prepare for Friday night. We train hard all week and to get back to state its going to have to be a week in and week out thing. No time to take a day off.”

Ivory is currently ranked number one academically in his class and plans to keep his ranking to cross the stage in 2018 as valedictorian. Ivory has plans that span far beyond the gridiron and has already started doing volunteer work with a group called The Young Financial Wizards. He is also a member of the National Honor society and student council. Despite what seems like a heavy work load outside of football, Ivory carries the load with pride. He is exactly what the Mustangs need to help lead this team. He is a lead by example guy and hopes some of the younger athletes will follow his leadership.

“When I need a break from football I go to church. It helps get my mind right and reminds me about the other things in life,” said Ivory. “I just try to live right and do like Coach Thompson says, don’t get in trouble and stay away from those girls.”

Ivory’s teammate, Davien Teate, is also a senior and is academically ranked in the top 10 of their class. The Second Team all-district linebacker is going into his fourth season on varsity and every season thus far he’s played in a state championship game. Teate not only brings hard-hitting knowledge on defense, but what it takes to not just win, but win as a team. Teate is also a member of the national honor society, student council and Young Financial Wizards.

“We do pursuit drills every day at practice,” Teate said “Game days, I got my head up, I am reading the guard, mirroring the guard doing what I can to get to the ball.”

The two senior teammates both praise head coach Cornel Thompson for his hard work and getting them prepared all week. Being the state champs they have somewhat of a target on them, so its imperative that they take each week as serious as the next.

The Mustangs have several key rivalry games including, Bridge City Little Cypress-Mauriceville and what they’ve coined over the years as their biggest rival, Silsbee. Despite the loss of athletes from last season’s squad the Mustangs seem to be in good hands with the core group of seniors they have while led by two young men, Ivory and Teate, who are talented on the field and in the classroom. They’ll provide the leadership quality to keep the tradition alive.