(First in a series of Mustangs previews for Fall 2021.)
Ideally, the game that spoils a good walk and is coming off its most-peculiar schoolboy season on Colorado record won’t be followed by another ... 2020 and all that came with it is over and Mullen is looking forward to 2021 that opens practice on Monday (Aug. 2).
As it was, the Mustangs were runners-up as a team (in Class 4A) a year ago at the Country Club of the Rockies and produced the second- and third-place individuals in a later, shortened, make-shift edition of a campaign that was challenging with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and makes the 2021-22 opening that much more anticipated.
“Are you kidding?” Mustangs coach Jerry Koehler said. “I can’t wait. That was so painful. We didn’t even know we would have a season.”
Now, Koehler said, “we have big shoes to fill if we want to get back to where we were.”
The strong, talented inner core for the Mustangs the past four seasons has moved on and the top returnee from 2020 has opted to concentrate on another sport, so it will be up to seniors Ben Hawes (60th at the state tournament), Brodie Reister and John Yoder to lead the way.
Juniors Ethan Karr and Nick Good, sophomores Ryan Brady and Jack Newton, and freshmen Ben Medina, Talon Penrod and Joe Yoder are among those expected to be at today’s beginning of the two-day tryouts for the Mustangs at nearby Homestead Golf Course, a glorious and challenging executive course.
As usual, Koehler said he will keep five players on varsity, another five on junior varsity and three or four on a developmental team.
Mullen’s first official match will be a match-play event against Bishop Machebeuf on Aug. 9, the same day the rest of the traditional fall sports will begin preseason drills and revert back to a regular schedule.
Regionals, which have yet to be set, are to be completed by Sept. 25 with the 4A championships Oct. 4-5 and gaining excitement as it will be contested at the revamped City Park Golf Course here in Denver.
Koehler said “all of our Centennial (League) matches are set and we’ve got some good invitational tournaments … that’s nice. A lot got cancelled last year. But we’re going business as usual.
“And I’ve got a lot of optimism going in.”