ELMORE COUNTY, Ala. (WSFA) - The Stanhope Elmore Mustangs found themselves in the Class 6A playoffs in the first year under head coach Brian Bradford. Now, two years into his system, the Mustangs are looking to improve upon their 6-5 finish last year.
“The kids are really excited. We took a big step last year, so we want to take an even bigger step now," said Bradford. “The kids are looking to do something we haven’t really done in a long time - having a home playoff game.”
Despite their season coming to an end last season against Saraland, Bradford says the energy out at Stanhope Elmore is higher than it’s ever been before. He says the kids have bought into the system.
“We’re headed in the right way. The kids have totally bought in to everything we want them to do, they’re working out hard in the weight room, they’re killing each other in conditioning, we’ve got great leaders this year, they’re doing everything that we’ve asked them to do, so yeah that’s going to carry on over to the field this year,” said Bradford.
There’s good reason to be excited. The Mustangs opened last season winning three of their first four games, and showed a strong defensive presence. They also ended the regular season winning three out of four, again with the defense showing up right when Bradford & Co. needed them to. He says that’s where most of the experience lies coming back.
“Defense is always stout, we always pride ourselves on defense, so we’re going to rely on them again this year," said Bradford. "That’s where most of our experience is, and then our skill guys on offense.”
The Mustangs open 2019 at home against Chilton County High School Aug. 23.