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Winning with ambition

As a new season starts the team prepares for the year starting with a game against Gulf High School and excitement towards a new rival.
Sophomore Bryce Backus, takes a breath at the line before the ball is snapped. When asked about the benefits of pre-season Backus said, “It helps see where we’re at for the season and how we’re going to do with the stuff we’ve been working on all summer”.

   Three weeks into the school year, the football season officially starts this Friday,  Aug. 25 with an away game against Gulf. Last week on Aug. 18 the boys won their pre-season game 20-16 against George M. Steinbrenner High School giving them a preview of what this season might look like. The team has used this pre-season game to reflect on what they need to work on and for reassurance.

   Quarterback Cayden Thomas (’26) reflects on how the team continues to bond and how he feels about this season.

   “We like to have poker nights, we go out to eat after practice, or we’ll just hang out at the house watching fights and stuff like that. I’m pretty confident I think we’re practicing well enough and scheming well enough that we should have a good game.” Thomas said.

   Throughout this year Thomas plans on trying to break school records, particularly for passing and all-purpose yards. The Seniors on the team also continue to bond and celebrate their last year by having senior dinners on Thursdays. For many years River Ridge High School has been the team’s biggest rival, but recently some have felt like they haven’t been competitive like they used to be; causing East Lake to be the new rival.

   Nico Mastrosimone (’24) discusses his feelings and hopes for the next few games.

   “I’m excited. There’s a lot of trash talk going on around Gulf thinking they’re good, but we’re going to remind them who they are. I’m excited for [East Lake] too. I hope we have a big crowd there. It’s an away game so I hope a lot of people come.”

   The next few weeks are slammed with intense games as this Friday Gulf High School is the first game on the record followed by the team’s new rival East Lake High School on Sept. 1 then their long-term rival River Ridge High School which will also be the first home game on the record.

    Last year the team won their first game against Gulf High School and their rivalry game against River Ridge. By the end of the season last year the standings for the Mustangs saw the team with an overall of eight games won; four of those being district games. They won three out of the four district games leaving them in first place. 

   Kelahni Harriel (’25) transferred from Gulf High School but is ready to go up against his old school with a new team.

   “The team has treated me like I’ve been there the entire time. The only difference is I’m wearing a slightly different color jersey because I joined later. They’ve been good with helping me out since I haven’t been playing football for the last two years here. So it’s been great to have support from everyone on the team. We’re doing really well working as a team. We’re staying connected online, going over a lot of footage, and just making sure we can be as prepared mentally and physically as we can for the games,” Harriel said.

   The players aren’t the only ones who prepare for upcoming games as the student section can follow the Stang Gang on Instagram to keep up with themes for the games. This upcoming game is themed golf. All home game themes are already posted such as Blackout, Wild West, Rappers/ Hippies, Pinkout for breast cancer awareness, and Whiteout/ Senior Togas. Away game themes should be posted soon. Make sure to show your support by dressing up and participating in traditions like the flower toss at kick-off and chants throughout the games

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Hanna Carberry-Simmering
Hanna Carberry-Simmering, Print Editor-in-Chief
Hanna is a senior here at Mitchell. She is from Trinity, FL. Her hobbies include horseback riding, crochet, writing and photography. She has been in the hoofbeat since sophomore year and enjoys working with her peers here.
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