It’s on … and will be for 10 months.
The 2019-20 scholastic sports year officially began statewide on Monday, opening day for fall practice.
All aspects were relevant across campus, from administration to some of the newest student-athletes.
“When I arrive at school early in the morning and when I leave later in the evening, I can count on our student-athletes and coaches being here right after I hit the parking lot and often staying on campus after I depart,” Principal Jeff Howard said. “Their presence excites me for the fall, their dedication inspires mine and their desire to wear Mullen colors in competition thrills me.
“We would be unrecognizable as Mullen High School without the efforts of these athletes, the gift of their coaching staffs and the support of our amazing athletic department. I, for one, cannot wait to see them in games and to cheer them on! Go, Mustangs!”
Mustangs veteran athletic director Vince Massey has witnessed dozens of opening days and never ceases to be moved positively by the beginning of a sports season and what it can bring.
“I am excited for the athletic season,” Massey said. “Our athletes and coaches have been working hard in the off-season in anticipation of this day. We look forward to the lessons we will learn from this season and we look forward to competing and doing our best.”
In particular, Mustangs football is fueled by the opportunity for success under the new leadership of first-year head coach Stanley Richardson.
Senior running back Damien Cearns, 15 pounds heavier than a year ago, said “we’ve got some dudes who can ball, so I’m really excited about the running game this year.”
Just having football underway, 6-foot-3, 300-pound defensive lineman Aidan Keanaaina, a Notre Dame pledge, said, is large because “I’ve been waiting for it, even for the NFL to just watch, then college and the chance to play. It comes with school, but I’m also looking forward to practice and games in my senior year.”
A newbie in softball, sophomore Emmy Holz, an outfielder and transfer from Wisconsin, said she “couldn’t wait for it to start” as she prepared for her first official practice as a Mustang.
She also admitted to being “a little bit worried,” but was ready to join teammates under second-year head man Alan Colglazier and new assistants Dave Atencio and Tony Lopez.
As for standbys, Kyle Cooper, captain of Mullen boys soccer, wore his appointment like a badge of honor.
“We have a lot of new players, but we have good talent,” Cooper said. “Hopefully, we’ll be able to do some damage in the playoffs.”
Being chosen as team leader, Cooper said, has additional meaning as “I think we have a real good group of boys this season.”
All told, Mullen will field fall teams in boys and girls cross country, football, boys golf, boys soccer, softball, boys tennis and volleyball.