The young core of Midland Valley’s football program is a year older, and with it comes higher expectations.
The Mustangs finished 4-7 last season, a three-win improvement from the previous year, and players at the skill positions now have considerable experience.
“We still have an extremely young team with only 12 seniors, but a lot of those kids played and started last year,” coach Rick Knight said. “We had two freshmen playing and many sophomores, so it’s a matter of how their experience last year solidifies, and if they can improve on what they did last year.”
That core includes cousins Daniel and Dre Carr. Daniel Carr was forced to learn on the fly as a freshman starting quarterback last season, and he showed flashes of being the impact player Knight believes he will become.
Dre Carr uses speed to produce quick runs, and expectations are there for a 1,000-yard season from the junior running back.
Junior receiver Kameron Brown is also drawing attention from the coaching staff. Knight said he believes Brown has the chance to be a “big-time player.”
This offensive core, alongside several returning starters on both lines, has given Midland Valley’s players reason for optimism.
“They want to get better, and they’re enthusiastic,” Knight said. “I think that’s going to maybe get us over the hump in a couple games. We feel like we’ve got a little bit of talent that we might not have had in past years at some skill positions.”
Midland Valley does run into another tough schedule this season, with Strom Thurmond, Silver Bluff and North Augusta looming. But Knight said the added experience and optimism could be the difference in some close games.
“We have some breakaway people,” Knight said. “We have some playmakers. It’d be exciting if that happens. Hopefully it clicks.”