MIDLAND, Texas (KMID/KPEJ) – Midland High hasn’t finished with a winning record or won a playoff game since 2017.

Second year Head Coach Thad Fortune has been tasked with changing that and he’s seen his program take steps in the right direction as he develops a young roster while still focusing on the present.

“I think our practice habits have continued to improve,” said Fortune who led Midland to 3-8 overall record and 1-5 district record in his first season. “That’s something as a head coach I’m always thinking about, and I want to continue to improve as we continue to develop our players while preparing for a specific opponent each week.”

The offense will rely on big plays from their shifty athletes, none more so than do-it-all offensive machine Brylee Perez who will to be a central piece for Midland playing multiple positions. He was Midland’s leading receiver last year before getting injured.

“It’s really easy. I’m used to it now I’ve been doing this since spring ball,” said Perez when asked about practicing at multiple positions.

“I can make plays. You know, it’s put the ball in five’s hands [Perez’s jersey number]. He’ll make a play.”

Midland’s triple option offense is led by senior quarterback Jake Cunningham who handles the distribution duties whether it’s handing it off or throwing it deep.

Just like everyone in the Bulldog fanbase, he wants to take this program back to the playoffs, and believes there’s a path for the them to get there.

“In my entire career of being in MISD and a Midland High Bulldog and an SGA Mustang, I don’t remember the last time we went to the playoffs,” said Cunningham. “I think we’re ready for it and as long as we do what we know we can do, we will be great.”

“Before you can win the games you want to win, you’ve got to learn not to lose,” said Fortune. “That is a boring, harsh truth, but it’s the truth. You’ve got to eliminate penalties you got to eliminate unnecessary setbacks. The work that our football team has put in and the work that our program has put in will give us a chance every week.”

Midland High opens their 2022 season on Friday against El Paso Montwood.