More than two weeks separated from the final Mavericks football game of the year, Head Coach Clint Young reflected on the season, the surprising performances of young players and find the answers to early season question marks.
"They weren't selfish, they were all about the team and that's what made us successful," said Young. "We're happy. There are a few games we wished we'd played better, but it was a great experience with some young kids. I can't say enough about our senior leadership. These kids never hung their heads. They showed that early and late in the season."
The Mavericks had a lot of question marks early in the season. Many wondered what the offense would like without Ross Binford, the primary offensive player for the previous two seasons.
"We had expectations of a few kids but we had question marks about some players. Whether they were kids that didn't have a lot of experiences or kids that were just young.
We were extremely young but what I saw was a team that was ready to study and get better."
Trever Powell, Creighton McDonald and Keenan Behee created a diverse offense that snowballed midseason during the Mavs' 5 game win streak.
"With that trio, our challenge was figuring out who went where. We didn't have a quarterback that could fall back and throw. We knew we had a stable of running backs. It took several weeks to figure it out. Trevor [Tyree] did a great job and if someone got hurt we wouldn't have had a problem putting him back in there. But with Trever in the middle and Creighton and Keenan on the edges, that became something really difficult to stop."
The Mavericks finished second in the league with nearly 3,000 total rushing yards.
"That shows what our kids were capable of. They all knew we weren't going to throw the ball and they still couldn't stop us. Ask any of the other coaches, we never stopped coming. We were always going to be in it. That goes to the credit of our kids."
Behee, the 5'3" senior played a key roll as the third man, especially in the week eight victory against Attica.
"He showed great patience with me," said Young. "He was dying to get in there from day one. He just wanted to play. When we found a place for him, he didn't disappoint. You always knew he was going to produce. Regardless of his size, he's fast and agile."
Young praised the defensive line as well.
"Over the course of the year I saw the defense get put into some forth and short situations. They got put into some tough spots and they got in line and played ball. There were times when we let up, but for the most part those kids really stepped up."
Page 2 of 2 - Young credited Aaron Heft, Paul Negrete, Evan Jacks, John Terhune and Erik Torres for their superb performances throughout the season.
Torres had a stand out freshman year but missed the last couple of weeks with a foot injury.
"He's going to be fine. That's one of the things about being a freshman. He's 14 years old and he means more to our future than to one game. We did well without him, so imagine what we could have done with him in the game."
The Mavericks lose McDonald, Powell, Tucker McKinney, Rustin Ardery and Trevor Tyree next season and while they may have some up-and-coming defensive player that are expected to return next year, the offense will be uncertain.
"We have some holes to fill," said Young. "There's no doubt about that. There are kids that made plays all year long and we're going to have to replace them. You look at kids who had quality time this year and I think they can get put in and perform well. As far as next season, I think success breeds success and we'll be in it. For this season I can speak for all of our coaches when I say that we are so proud of how our kids played week in and week out."