Head Coach Bill Maskill is just 13 games away from his 150th career win. The theme for his 18th season? Find a way.
“The story that we gave them was Hannibal. Hannibal won.. but he was way out-maned. So we told them the theory and the story of Hannibal, and we’ve tried to relate stories to the themes that were talking about. Our theme is find a way. Regardless of what happens, don’t tell me you didn’t get done just find a way to get it done,” said Bill Maskill.
“You know this team continues to find a way to work hard and do their job and listen well. This team takes coaching really really well. Our coaches give us a lot of good information. A lot of key points that we can work through and work on to make our team better. I think we are going to surprise some people in terms that we will play as hard as we can every single Saturday, and leave it all out on the field for us and all our fans,” said Zach Purcell.
The Mustangs have a large senior class filling in key spots this season. On defense, expect to see a lot of former Vernon Lion, Zack McMahen. McMahen will step into a bigger role this year after finishing 2018 with 16 tackles and a fumble recovery.
“I’d say we could expect another good defense. We got a lot of guys coming back in the back end. A lot of play makers back there. And turnover wise, we are always working turnover drills and stuff like that so it’s something to be looking for,” said Zack McMahen.
Leading the offensive line is Austan Davis. Davis ended his junior campaign with second team All-Conference honors and returns for his senior as captain.
“We got a lot of guys that have been around for a while. They know what they are supposed to do. They know where they are supposed to be. They know how to handle certain situations they just gotta perform. Its their turn to perform. A lot of new guys stepping into a lot of new roles and got some big shoes to fill,” said Austan Davis.
Zach Purcell steps in as the starting quarterback this year after seeing playing time in four games his sophomore year. Purcell threw for 106 yards and two touchdowns in the 55-12 victory over Humboldt State.
“Each week we will prepare, watch film, go over different schemes for that week with coaches and stuff like that. I know our coaches are the best prepared in the country, so I am really looking forward to working with them throughout the year and be ready for Saturdays. My goal is to be the best player I can be for my teammates, lead a band of brothers to some wins and at the end of the day just have some fun and play some football,” said Zach Purcell.
The Mustangs return a strong receiving corps led by junior Juwan Johnson. Johnson was picked as Preseason Offensive Player of the Year after earning LSC Receiver of the Year honors as a sophomore and setting a school single season record wracking up 1,215 yards on 67 receptions.
“Man, we got so many explosive players. We have so many guys that can make plays at any given moment, and that shows throughout practices day in and day out. It seems like there’s a new guy making a big play every single day, and I think that’s a good thing for our offense. We just need to get more consistent across the board,” said Austan Davis.
The Mustangs are ready. Ready to find a way every workout, every practice, and every game.