Originally created 08/25/06

Season Preview: Midland Valley



Head coach: Rick Knight (Seventh year)

Classification: SCHSL Region 4-AAA

2005 record: 1-9

Four-year record (since 2002): 13-30

Last playoff appearance: 2003

Returning starters: 8 offense, 3 defense

Key Mustangs: Senior RB Terry Bradley (5-11, 233); Senior C Justin Brown (6-0, 272); Senior QB Brett Godwin (6-1, 172); Senior CB Luther Elliot (5-11, 178); Senior P/PK David Coursey (5-11, 215)

Offensive attack: It's the spread, and the number of starters back indicates the unit should be a strength, despite a new scheme. Bradley has size and ran for 219 yards and four scores last year. Seniors Adam Buchanan (5-10, 175) and Channing Benton (6-4, 250) are the returning road graders up front. Sophomore Jesse Scott (5-10, 172) adds quickness as a runner and receiver.

Defensive keys: The exotic 3-5-3 scheme is a system designed to put their best athletes on the field close to the ball. Elliot must take away the other team's top receiver. Senior OLB Steven Lewis (5-10, 174) is the most experienced linebacker and is coming off a 71-tackle year.

Thin at: Linebacker

Big game: At Chapin, Oct. 6

Different this year: New offensive and defensive schemes are being employed by a coaching staff determined to silence the off-season critics.

Could go bad if: An inexperienced defense wipes out any offensive strides made by the team, or the Mustangs can't play well at home, where they have six games.

Great year if: Midland avoids injuries, turnovers and flies to the ball in a scheme designed for aggressive players. That, and a little luck, could give this team a badly needed playoff appearance.