(Seventh in a series of previews for the new Season D.)
They weren’t permitted to play last year, their league won’t exist this season and they only have five seniors.
But can anything really temper this new Season D for Mullen Mustangs boys lacrosse?
“I’m really excited about our offense this year and our defense should be stout,” Mustangs head coach Matt Cawley said. “We have a good core.”
And it’s an especially good thing – the Mustangs, like every other team in the sport, need a lot of good. In 2020, they didn’t get to play a match because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic that also affected summer competition, offseason gatherings, and rosters and schedules into today’s (Monday, May 3) opening of the season.
Mullen also isn’t in the Centennial League – there is none for the sport in 2021. No, the Mustangs are in a group entitled Class 5A League No. 1 with Boulder, Douglas County, Eaglecrest, Lewis-Palmer, Overland, Pine Creek, Prairie View and Smoky Hill.
And just five 12th-graders are on a roster that may seem even younger and inexperienced than it is.
“Last year’s teams across the state were all pretty old and we were one of them,” Cawley said. “So there will be a lot of unknowns.”
Cawley’s guys will include seniors Brandon Hane and Keegan Quinn on attack. And in what Cawley calls “a good class of juniors,” watch for Lance Hart, Dominick Flores, Chris Bougie and Connor Warren. Sophomore Nick Bond also should be a regular contributor as should Ed Konizeski.
In goal, Cawley said it will be between Nick Gilbert, also a top contributor in ice hockey; Luc Caldwell, one of the school's No. 2 doubles players in tennis; and Noah Wanja.
Again, Cawley said, “we should have a good core … we’ll be a back-to-front team, but offensively we’ve got some firepower. We should put the ball in the net for a long time.”
The Mustangs will have 10 regular-season games, four in nonleague against Monarch (season opener on May 5), Northfield, Prairie View and Rangeview.
They will remain in 5A for the next two seasons before dropping to 4A.