SOUTH WESTERN MUSTANGS GRIDIRON 2008-1
By Bill Engelhardt
The Mustangs of South Western return to gridiron action Friday night, August 29, as they host the Warriors of Gettysburg to kick off the 2008 season. The Mustangs are looking ahead to a successful season. They have a career 310-189-8 record with a .621 winning percentage and a .627 non-losing percentage. They are 306-181-8 in regular season play. This year the Mustangs have a good group of returning starters and lettermen and promising new players to watch, and hope to continue the winning tradition, which includes ten league titles since 1990 and 14 in the history of the school.
Seniors Adam Day, Chris Helwig, Jordan Gall, Zak Kruger, Brandon Nicastro, David Sager, Zac Scott, Andrew Sells, Drew Sneeringer, Derek Supel, and Wes Trostle are returning starters. Juniors Dan Laird, Kyle Mahorney, J. R. Mummert and Jake Myers are also returning starters. Other returning lettermen are seniors Alex Berwager, Mike Brant, Chris Houser, Brandon Myers, Ben Shultz, and Tyler Whitman. Juniors Mason Brady, Cody Fricke, Colby Fuhrman, Kyle King, Tyrell McCleary, Steve Munchel, Jim Nicklas, Levi Sager, Jeb Shipley, Ian Smith, and sophomores Ryan Sexton, and Jake Shaffer are up and comers to watch this year.
The graduation of key players Seth Barnes, John Bingham, Corwyn Gordon and Duane Rowlette still leaves the Mustangs with a solid group of seasoned players. Returning quarterback David Sager completed 70 passes for 883-yards and 10 touchdowns last year and puts the Mustangs in good shape at that position. We look for Brant, Helwig, Scott, Mummert, and up and comers Fricke, King, McCleary, Levi Sager, Shipley, Sexton and Shaffer to vie for playing time and continue the great running tradition of the Mustangs. We hope for an exciting receiving corps to emerge from among Berwager, Houser, Mahorney, Sneeringer (who caught 10 passes for 137-yards and 4 touchdowns last year), and up and comer Nicklas.
Brant, Day, Gall, Houser, Laird, Mahorney, Brandon Myers, Jake Myers, Nicastro, Scott, Sells, Sneeringer, Supel, Trostle, and Whitman all should figure prominently at the lines and line backer positions, with a lot of help from up and comers Brady, Fricke, Fuhrman, Munchel, Sexton and Shaffer. Berwager, David Sager and newcomers King, McCleary, Nicklas, Levi Sager, Shipley, and Smith should all see plenty of action in the secondary. Among the returning players, Sneeringer led the defense with 69 tackles last year, followed by Sells with 49, Supel with 43, Helwig with 34, Day with 31, Gall with 29, Scott with 28, Jake Myers with 26 and Nicastro with 17.
The kicking game is in the very capable hands (or should we say foot) of senior Zak Kruger again. Last year he successfully kicked 18 of 19 extra point attempts and 2 field goals, including a 35-yarder. He also registered 6 touchbacks on 35 kickoffs.
Don Seidenstricker is going into his 31st year with the Mustang program and has a 169-71-1 (.704) record as he goes into his 23rd year as head coach. Don is ready to lead the hard charging Mustangs against the Gettysburg Warriors. In his preseason outlook he said, “Following on the heels of a very uncharacteristic losing season (2007) and an exceptional 2006 season, the question in the ‘Mustang Camp’ is ‘which way will an experienced group of Steeds go?’ This particular group has worked extremely hard in the off-season setting lifting records in the weight room, practicing skill work in the gym and fields, and getting ready for the summer passing leagues, linemen camps, and the conditioning program. All indications point in the direction of great attitude, leadership, and commitment. Though not laden with superstars, or exceptional individual talent, this is a Blue Collar Football Team with enough “want-to” and toughness to carry a team.
With fifteen (15) returning starters, and twenty-one (21) total lettermen, this year’s team should head into pre-season practice a little ahead of the game. This club boasts varsity/starter experience at 18 of 22 positions. At press time the only huge question is ‘who will man the secondary?’ If some underclassmen answer the above question with authority, the 2008 Mustangs might just ‘DO WHATEVER IT TAKES IN OH-EIGHT.’”
From here it looks like the South Western Mustangs are primed and ready to go and should thrill and excite their fans with an effective and balanced offense and a defense to be reckoned with. I am thrilled with anticipation and high expectations for the start of the 2008 season. GO MUSTANGS GO.