HYRUM — On Friday, Nov. 17 the Mountain Crest Mustangs will take the field at Rice-Eccles stadium opposite the Orem Tigers in the 4A state championship game. It’ll mark the first state title game appearance for Mountain Crest since 2012, when the Mustangs fell to Timpview 38-31. It’ll also provide the Mustangs a chance to end a twelve-year championship drought.
Needless to say, the 2017 season has been one of success after success for Mountain Crest. It started with victories over teams like Highland and Box Elder and continued with playoff wins over the likes of Salem Hills and Dixie.
The only negative to this season was the defeat at the hands of rival Sky View and even that was barely a negative. After all, the visiting Mustangs were a last-ditch touchdown drive away from defeating the Bobcats in Smithfield.
And yet the story of the 2017 Mustangs really starts a year earlier with a new school, a new coach and a new mindset.
When Ridgeline High School opened in 2016 the RiverHawks claimed more than a few Mountain Crest students, as well as their share of Mustang football players.
“We had 830 kids, sophomore to senior, in the entire school last year,” said Mountain Crest head coach Jason Lee.
Of course, one of the quirks of high school sports meant the Mustangs, who prior to the split competed in the 5A classification, would continue to compete in 5A for another season.
Added to that was the fact that Lee was starting his first year as head coach at Mountain Crest, an adjustment in and of itself.
The result was less than pretty.
Mountain Crest struggled for the vast majority of the season, winning just three games. The losses weren’t exactly competitive either, as the Mustangs fell by multiple digits to Fremont, Roy, Weber and Sky View, to name a few.
The fall was grace was a drastic one. In 2015 the Mustangs had made it as far as the state quarterfinals, before falling to the eventual state champion Bingham Miners.
“It was a bad year, a rebuilding year,” said Mountain Crest quarterback Brady Hall.
“It was definitely hard,” added wide receiver Nick Nethercott. “We struggled.”
As far as Lee was concerned, the season provided a wealth of learning opportunities.
“We told them life is tough, but you have to play the hand you’re dealt,” said Lee.
“We grew together,” said Hall. “Closer, not only as football players but as friends and good people in …read more
Source:: Deseret News – Sports News