Turnaround season expected for Mustangs

The Minarets Mustang football team is preparing for its second season under Head Coach Becher Marr. Marr, who played football for the Yosemite High Badgers, is returning this year with a much improved coaching staff and a seasoned team expected to make big improvements over last year’s 2-8 record.

Marr’s assistants include brother Drew, Josh Wisnowski, (linebackers coach), Jason Robbins, (quaterbacks coach), and Bob Woods, (offensive line). Josh Valenzuela and Daniel Lynch are coaching the JV team.

The Mustangs had a busy summer starting with a football camp at Hume Lake and attending passing scrimmages at Avenal, Hanford, and Farmersville. Marr was very pleased and encouraged with the Mustangs performance.

“This team should be exciting to watch this year if we continue to improve off the great work we had this summer,” Marr said. “We have so many weapons, as long as we stay focused and work hard it will be tough for people to match up with us everywhere.”

Marr said the team has a lot of starters on both sides of the ball from last season’s team (2-8, 1-3 WSL), and they work very well together.

“The group of seniors we have this year know what it takes to be successful and have done a great job of being leaders in the offseason,” Marr added.

Returning quarterback Jacob Cullen should have plenty of weapons in the Mustangs “spread offense,” including returning receivers E.G. Walden and Preston Conti, both with good hands and capable of changing a game with their break away speed.

Cullen, a duel threat to throw or tuck and run, led the team in rushing last season.

Tyson Ellis will carry the load in the backfield, and Marr is excited to see him in action.

“Tyson worked extremely hard this past off season - He is much faster and has added size for the upcoming season,” Marr said.

The Mustang linebackers will be solid this season with Payton Phillips looking for a full year of success after missing a large part of last season with a broken ankle. Phillips is expected to be a big presence from his middle linebacker position, and teams would be wise to avoid the middle.

Also returning is Aaron Hall, after leading the team in tackles last year, Hall has added height, bulk, and strength.

The Mustangs will travel to scrimmage McLane on Aug. 18 - both varsity and JV teams playing at 7 p.m..

The Mustangs have something for everyone in the mountain community this season as they host Sierra Sept. 1 (Sierra beat Minarets 42-16 last year), followed by an away game at Mariposa on Sept. 8 (Mariposa won last year 42-23), along with a highly anticipated rematch with the Badgers at Yosemite on Sept. 22. The Badgers won last year’s game 50-0.

All games are scheduled for a 7 p.m. kickoff with JV playing at 5 p.m..

Exciting things are underway for the Mustangs and Chawanakee Unified School District. Along with a new football stadium (in its first stage), Chawanakee has hired Anthoney Patino to teach out of North Fork and build youth programs in football and basketball. Patino, former head basketball coach at Sierra, has built championship team and won sectional titles for the then Chieftains, now called the Tribe.

He will also oversee development of Chawanakee’s athletic programs at all levels, and will take over duties as head coach of the Mustangs basketball program, following Paul Varners resignation. Expect great things from Patino, known for his discipline and focus, the Mustangs athletic programs look to have a great future with Patino at the helm.

Sign-ups for youth football still open

The Mustangs Youth football program has returned under the direction of Mike Redmond.

“We are practicing Monday-Friday, 6-8 p.m. at Minarets High School, and we are still accepting signups for fourth through eighth graders. are welcome partners who would like to participate are welcome.”

Detalis: Mike Redmond, (559) 683-6880, or see Minarets Youth Football Facebook page.

Minarets Mustangs 2017 Football Schedule

8-25: Orosi at Minarets

9-1: Sierra at Minarets

9-8: Minarets at Mariposa

9-15: Tranquillity at Minarets

9-22: Minarets at Yosemite

9-29: Mendota at Minarets

10-6: Caruthers at Minarets

10-13: Minarets at Riverdale

10-20: Fowler at Minarets

10-27” Minarets at Parlier

NOTE: All JV games begin at 5 p.m. and varsity at 7 p.m.