LINSIDE, WV (WVNS) — The beginning of the week comes with practice, full pads, full contact and ‘all in’ preparation for that game on Friday night.
There is excitement in the air for the James Monroe Mavericks that can only be attributed to one thing, according to senior Grant Lively.
“The excitement you get going in front of your hometown, its awesome,” Lively said.
While the Mavericks start their season on the road, it does not take away from the sense of urgency on the practice field. With the first game days away, now is the time to answer the burning questions. For James Monroe Head Coach John Mustain, that means figuring out who is lining up under center.
“It’s Josiah right now. The thing about Josiah – he is a good receiver, he can run the ball a little bit for us. This week we are looking at Eli Allen as our back up, but Eli is also a good receiver. He can run the ball for us too. They are both athletes that need to be on the field somewhere,” Mustain said.
Josiah Hodges and Eli Allen are incredibly athletic, and they can line up anywhere on the field. That means the same guy might not be taking the snaps every play, which makes the job of the guys in the trenches that much more important.
“Yeah, it is definitely an overlooked part of the game. People who understand the game know how important it is. It all starts with you on the line,” Senior lineman, Jakoby Meadows said.
When you have this many options and powerful weapons, it is crucial you find a way to make it all work.
Coach Mustain gives all the credit to his support staff, both familiar coordinators and new coaches alike
“I really think this staff is doing a great job of working together. I’m the type of person where I’m not a dictator. I never have been, and I will listen to what the opposing coaches have to say,” Mustain said.
With new coaches, the Mavericks are getting a getting a fresh start, but that does not mean changing who they are as a team.
“These kids know what is expected when they come out on the field,” Mustain said.
Unexpected things happen on the field, especially when you are coming into a program. One thing Mustain did not expect was the play and dedication of his scout team.
“We have one of the best scout team defenses we have ever had at this school. They give us good fits,” Mustain said.
The biggest thing Mustain wants to see out of his guys come Friday is enthusiasm on the field.