But, the Mustangs will try to do just that Friday night as they open up “The Corral” for the first time under new head coach Glen Ryan and welcome in the Red Bank Lions.
Despite the hot start, Ryan says the team is in a good place both mentally and physically.
“The guys are good. They are handling the situation very well right now. We remind them every day that we just have to take the season one week at a time,” he stated.
“We aren’t the kind of football team that can go out there and just show up and expect to win football games. We have to come out and we have to play good, solid football if we [want a] chance to be successful. The guys understand that pretty well and have done a good job of staying focused and not getting ahead of themselves.”
Walker Valley is also facing the double edged sword of coming off an off-week. But, the ’Stangs attention has not wavered, and the extra week has allowed the team to recouperate and allowed some extra time to work on fixable issues like blocking, tackling and assignments.
“The off week really came at a good time for us. We aren’t a really deep team. We had a couple guys with some bumps and bruises. So, it gave us a chance to get healthy. It’s been a good week. We got to work on some thing that we felt like we still needed some work on and were able to add a few new wrinkles in,” said Ryan.
Each week the team holds a film session on Saturday morning of the previous Friday night, and at the end of the viewing the entire team then puts that game behind it and focuses squarely on the next gridiron showdown.
When asked if the Mustangs are excited about making their first stand at home this season Ryan smiled and enthusiastically stated, “Absolutely.”
“These guys are looking forward to getting home. The excitement and the buzz in the school in the community have been great. Our boosters have been working with a fever pitch to get stuff ready. We want people to walk in and just go ‘Wow, there’s been a big change up here.” We want people to see it not just on-field, but in our facilities and surroundings as well.
To that point construction was under way Wednesday on the front entrance of the football stadium. A new wrought-iron gate, brick ticket booths, paved walkways and a big blue-and-gold banner draped across the back of the press booth will greet Mustang fans as they enter “The Corral.”
While many in the community are focused and excited about this new Mustang squad, Ryan’s coaching staff and team are squarely trained on a dangerous 1-1 Red Bank squad under the leadership of former Cleveland Raider head coach E.K. Slaughter.
“Red Bank is a good football team. They are always going to have good athletes. They have a stingy defense, a good quarterback who can throw the ball and plenty of receivers out there who can take it the distance if you give them a chance. We’re expecting a good football team to roll in here, and we are going to have to be a good football team to match up with them,” Ryan conveyed.
It all gets under way Friday night at 7:30 as this new-look Mustang squad looks to make some school history and turn a few head in the local football culture.