By Michael Kinney
Football teams across the state are enjoying their final days of freedom this week. Starting at 12:01 a.m. Aug. 7, football season will officially start.
When the clock strikes 12:01, the Mustang football team will be on the field making sure no team gets a jump on them.
“You go the first day or the first minute that we’re allowed,” Mustang coach Lee Blankenship said. “So that’ll be great.
Despite losing a large senior class from the 2022 campaign, the MHS coaches are excited about what they hope to see when they hit the field for practice.
“We’re young and that’s no secret. We had a great senior class a year ago,” Blankenship said. “We’ve got a lot of guys that have a lot of talent, but they have very little experience because of how deep we were, and how senior-heavy we were a year ago. But if our kids will come with that, that same kind of confidence that they came with at Horsepower Night, they’ll use the strength that they’ve earned. We’re going to be just fine when the season comes around.”
Before practice begins, the Broncos will go through equipment check out and mandatory team meetings. They will also continue to lift weights.
“We lift 52 weeks out of the year,” Blankenship said. “Christmas break, we lift. Thanksgiving, we lift. We lift all during the season because that’s something that we really believe in. It’s what we believe is giving us the edge and the opportunity to win at the line of scrimmage versus some of the traditional teams that have been really good in our classification. We’ve seen that pay off.”
The first week of practice will be a carryover from the work the Broncos have put in during the offseason and summer, which Blankenship says is a hallmark of the program.
“There’s a lot of things that we can’t control,” Blankenship said. “I can’t control how tall I am. I can’t control how big I am. We can’t control our speed to a certain extent. At some point the good lord just made some guys run a lot faster than me and a lot faster than a lot of the guys on our team. But what we talk about every day is we can control our conditioning. And we’ve done that this summer. We feel like we’re going to be one of the teams that are the best in shape in the state because we have complete control over that and we can control how hard we work in the weight room, our effort and strength.”