POWDERSVILLE—It usually takes a few years to build a successful football program, but Powdersville High Head Coach Robert Mustar says that is simply too long.
Mustar and his team want to have instant success in their first year as a varsity program, but they know they will have a long road ahead.
“I’m never going to lower my expectations because we’re brand new or we don’t have a senior class,” said Mustar. “We’re trying to teach these kids that there are no excuses out here. We wanted to play on a Friday night, and all we’re doing is asking them to compete.”
Powdersville had a Junior Varsity team that only played ninth and tenth graders last year. The Patriots will be very young again this season.
“We don’t have any seniors on this year’s team so we’re relatively young,” said Mustar. “We’ve got a lot of kids that if this isn’t their first year playing football it’s their second. Overall, we’re just young and learning as we go. We’re trying to win ball games and build tradition at the same time.”
Although Powdersville’s game plan remains a mystery to some teams in the area, Mustar says his plan is to spread the ball out on offense, and constantly change on defense.
“On the offensive side of the ball we’ll be a spread team, but on defense it’s going to change from week to week,” said Mustar. “When we get into the regular season, a lot of those teams are going to be run-oriented. There may be two or three teams in our region that pass the ball like we do, and so our defensive scheme will have to change.”
Mustar says his biggest problem has been finding leaders to help his team win the close ones.
“We’ve got good kids out there,” said Mustar. “We’re just looking for some to develop as leaders on the field. Sometimes they’re not the most vocal kids but we’re looking for kids who lead by example.”
Preparing for the first year of competition hasn’t always been easy, but Mustar remains enthusiastic.
“It’s an exciting time. We trying to find a home for these players and it may not be where they want to play, but it’s going to be where they best suit the team,” said Mustar. “I’ve got a great coaching staff over here with me. Everybody gets along and is on the same page. Everybody has a genuine interest in the players, and that’s what you want.”
Mustar is just hoping to silence the critics
“When we only had a JV team last year, we had naysayers then as well,” said Mustar. “They would say, ‘you’re not going to win a ball game.’ At the end of the season we were 6-4, and there was only one game that we were never even in the ball game. We can’t listen to people up in the stands or people that have nothing to do with the team. The ones who are on the field and put in the blood and sweat are the ones whose opinion’s matter.”
As far as the head coach is concerned, the Powdersville Patriots won’t be an underdog in any game this season.
“I don’t ever want to tell the kids that they are underdogs. I want them to know that they’re going to go out there and win,” said Mustar. “All you can do is shock everybody else. I like that. I want fans to eventually come to expect what we expect out of them.”