In 2014, the Sweetwater Mustangs will face some new faces in 4A Division II, and despite the on-coming challenge ahead, the team's using this opportunity to improve.
"We want to see if we got more aggressive, if we got a little bit better on our steps and reads, see what kids progress over the week, to prepare us for Lubbock High. We'll then evaluate every week, to get to the games that are important to us, and that's district play", explained third year head coach Shane Mobley.
Even senior wide receiver Isaiah McGee isn't worried about what lies ahead.
"Some of the new teams we heard about, they say they are going to be much harder, much bigger. I don't think so. I think if we just go into it having our heads high, play how we know how to play, then we'll be alright," said a confident McGee.
But what the other teams don't have, is the Mustang Bowl. A unique venue that features, the 'red sea'.
"I hope this is kind of like A&M's field, kind of a twelfth man, it kind of surrounds you," said starting quarterback and senior Keagan Jeffery. "It's real loud, the sea of red they call it everywhere around. It's just great to have everybody here supporting us.
McGee says it will be something that the visiting team's won't know it's coming.
"A lot of teams don't expect it when they come here, they say 'oh this field is nice but there isn't going to be many people', but once you come over those stairs, it's just wonderful," stated McGee.
Another motivating factor and one that bonds this Mustang team, is the groups' season motto: refuse to lose. Something that reminds this year's team, of games past.
"We didn't finish [last year]. So this year, it's a different mentality. We've been there, we're bringing it back, we're finishing it, but now you have to have the mentality to refuse to lose," said Mobley.
For quarterback Keagan Jeffery, the motivation has already started this season.
"In seven on seven's that helped us because we went all the way to the state final bracket, and we lost in double overtime," recalled Jeffery. "That kind of hurt us, made it feel like football was over. But it really just started for us, and so we started that over the summer, refuse to lose. We have to have that mentality that we hate to lose, you can't lose, and we hate to lose around here."
Citing the season ending loss to Wylie a year ago as motivation, the Mustangs will begin to use that motto when they welcome Lubbock to the Mustang Bowl in the home opener on august 29th.