After the hottest start in school history, the Mustangs have cooled as of late. A 3-0 start has been met with a 0-3 slide against some tough competition, the latest of which came at the hands of the defending District 5-AAA champions, the McMinn County Cherokees.
“It’s nice to be back home. Our guys learned a lot last Friday. They know they started off too good and worked too hard to let this season be a wash. They are motivated. We went in and revamped some things, went back to basics in others,” said the head coach.
According to Ryan, the team has had a solid week’s worth of practices as they prepare for tomorrow night’s showdown against another district rival in the Soddy-Daisy Trojans.
The Trojans (2-4, 1-2) are coming off a drumming of their own last Friday, falling 48-0 to the Ooltewah Owls.
“Don’t let the record fool you. Soddy-Daisy is a good football team. They’ve had some ups and downs this season too. They are a very capable team. They are big up front and have some decent skill people and some guys that can cause you problems,” explained Ryan.
“Defensively, we have seen them play really good at times and just ok at others, but we have to be prepared for their best game. It should be an interesting game. We’re expecting a battle out there.”
Friday night will be more than just another football game, more than a Walker Valley homecoming night. To Ryan, it’s the start of a new season.
“We have one month, four games. As far as we’re concerned it’s a brand new season. We’re 3-3 through the first half, so that’s a wash. If we come out of this month with a winning month then we are headed in the right direction,” he elaborated.
“It’s homecoming here this week and all that stuff. We just have to stay focused as a team. We can’t get caught up in all that. That’s for the crowd, the community and the school. We have to focus on playing our best football game. If we do that I feel like we will be ok.”
There have been some tough lessons learned over the past few weeks for the Mustangs, but the one Ryan and his coaching staff keep pushing is the need to come out of the gate ready to play and be prepared to give everything.
Under those circumstances, the team feels like it can make this “second season” a success.