Playoffs Begin for Varsity Football


Media by Jacob Robinson

After entering the stadium and running through the tunnel of band, cheer and mystique, the football team steps onto the field ahead of the Senior Night game against Pattonville. The Mustangs defeated the Pattonville Pirates 38-14.

When Jack Ahlbrand, senior, walks onto the football field tonight, he knows it could be the last game of his football career.

“From here on out, every game could be the last,” Ahlbrand said. “But, I have a lot of confidence in the team, and I know we could get far.”

Varsity football brought home a win on Friday. Oct. 21, against Pattonville, making the team’s record 8-1 as their regular season came to an end. The Mustangs will play Northwest High School tonight at 7 p.m. at MHS in the first round of the district playoffs.

With Playoffs starting, Ahlbrand said he is more prepared than ever and is making sure his team feels the same way.

Practices in the postseason are different from practices in the regular season, Ahlbrand said. The team has gained a new sense of focus and intensity as they get ready for their first Playoff game.

“Everything matters, especially for seniors,” Ahlbrand said. “We only have a limited amount of days before our high school football careers are over.”

I think if everyone does their job efficiently on the field, we’ll be ready to go. We’ll be the team to beat.

— Ryan Mitchell

As quarterback, Ahlbrand said he has seen his offense become more confident in each other and their skills throughout the season, and they have come together more than they were in August.

In front of Ahlbrand every game on the offensive line is Ryan Mitchell, junior. Mitchell said he has a lot of energy going into the playoffs, and he is looking forward to one thing: winning.

Like Ahlbrand, Mitchell said the team’s collaboration has only gotten stronger as the season progressed.

“I think if everyone does their job efficiently on the field, we’ll be ready to go,” Mitchell said. “We’ll be the team to beat.”

Watching game film of themselves and the team they will play that week is a crucial part of being successful on the field, Mitchell said. After watching the film, the offense, defense and special teams separate and work on their own specific plays at practice.

“We know that the strength of our opponents will be a lot harder than teams we have played in the regular season,” Mitchell said. “Playoffs are a real fun challenge for us.”

I definitely think there is a path for us to make it farther than last year, and our goal is a State title. We want to be playing around Thanksgiving time.

— Michael Stewart

Michael Stewart, head coach, said he knows the difficulty of the games they have coming up, and he wants the team to stay focused.

“By no means do we feel like we’re going to rest on being 8-1 and having a good season with a lot of wins,” Stewart said. “It’s about winning or going home at this point.”

The team feels like they performed well in the last game against Pattonville, Stewart said. There will be some minor adjustments made at practices before Playoffs start, but the players will be ready to go before the game.

This optimism is felt by the entire team and coaching staff, Stewart said.

“I definitely think there is a path for us to make it farther than last year, and our goal is a State title,” Stewart said. “We want to be playing around Thanksgiving time.”

Stewart credits much of this team’s success to the seniors, who have led the program from the bottom to the top. He said this group were freshmen when he became head coach, so they have helped shape the team together.

“This senior group is very special to me,” Stewart said. “I know they are hungry to see how far they can get in the Playoffs, and I know they will get it done for us.”