While losing their first game of the season 50-0 to traditional rival Neosho last week, first year head coach Corey Henry found some positives and areas to build upon as the McDonald County High School Mustangs prepare to open the home portion of their football season tonight against the Aurora Houn Dawgs.
“We had 11 guys always going to the ball defensively, and that’s a huge positive,” remarked Henry. “We were there, we’ve just got to wrap up, get some guys taken to the ground on initial hit. Offensively, you know we had some receivers in the right spot, just couldn’t get a whole lot of time to throw the ball. When we did get time to throw the ball, we didn’t have receivers in the right spot, so it was definitely a learning week for the program and adjusting to new schemes that we are bringing to them. I think they’ll respond coming into week two.”
Coming in as the new head coach, Henry voiced that he knew they would be limited on kids with actual varsity playing time so they would be breaking in many new players. He maintained that the kids will respond and that senior leadership will keep them going in the right direction.
Henry said a main focus of practice this week has been teaching to wrap up.
“We’ve got to learn to wrap up,” he asserted. “You can’t be an aggressive football team, you can’t be a football team, unless you learn to wrap up. We’ve got to learn to face adversity. You’re going to go through life – the same as football – things aren’t always going to go your way, you’ve got to deal with adversity and move forward and stay positive, and I think that our kids are learning to deal with that, and we’re just going to go from there.”
Henry reported that some kids have switched positions since the first game.
He determined, “That’s going to help them tremendously and they’ve adjusted great to those positions.”
The coach is excited to play in front of the Mustang faithful on football Friday night No. 2 in 2014.
“The home crowd, the community seems excited, the kids are excited to be back home,” Henry affirmed. “Obviously it’s been a year since we’ve had a football game here.” He boasted, “I’ve never seen a student body as excited as what they are here at McDonald County. I’m excited to get to have my first game opener here as the Mustang varsity football coach. It’s just a great atmosphere here to be a part of!”
Henry admitted that Aurora will bring a strong challenge to make that home opener a success.
“They’re very aggressive defensively, they’re going to come at you, and offensively they do some great things,” he said. “They play fundamentally sound and you’re just going to have to do the same thing to be successful against them.”
Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. in Mustang Stadium in Anderson.