By: Frank Mills
The final horn rang throughout the stadium and for the first time since 2012, Stevenson Mustang’s football team lost each of their first four games. The last time the Mustang’s had a start like this one, they finished the season 2-7 and missed the playoffs.
After suffering the first of their four losses to the number six ranked in division three football: John Hopkins football team, head coach, Ed Hottle said, “It starts with communication, you have to be able to identify the problem and from there, solve the problem. Looking at Saturday it’s like holy cow we’re not very good. I think we’re a very good football team.” He continued on stating, “I think we need self-confidence in some areas and we have to go out and have a great week of practice. I think we had a fine week of practice last week but fine has never been okay in our program.”
Throughout the four games, the team has struggled with turnovers, and it had been detrimental to the results at the end of games. The team’s usually accurate starting quarterback, Ryan Sedgwick, had thrown 8 interceptions through the first four games and the football team collectively had 4 fumbles. Even with the struggles, senior tight end, Manny Bruce stated, “Some positives are when we do our assignments and stay locked in there’s virtually nobody who can stop us, but we mess up when we hurt ourselves by getting simple/attention to detail penalties or make the game personal and get emotional.”
“The mindset is the same, the objective is to be the best team we can be every Saturday. Ultimately, to compete for and win the conference championship. Been the same thing since day number one in 2009 that’s been the objective and it doesn’t change, it’s pretty durable, simple, and direct,” said Coach Hottle. After one loss it can be easy to come back from but four straight losses, this time of adversity is where the best teams are formed and prove themselves. After their most recent loss to Lycoming by one point, Coach Hottle kept it simple when asked about what is holding them back from gaining their first win, “Confidence. The ability to close a game out.”
Since Ed Hottle joined Stevenson as the new head coach in 2009, he has turned the football team into a winning program and turned fans into believers of a MAC championship. With more than half the season left, one common goal remains the same throughout the football program and it’s to win the MAC Championship and the National Championship.