The 2015-2016 school year is quickly approaching for Mustang Public Schools.
With the new year around the corner, sports editor Kyle Salomon spoke with Mustang Public Schools Director of Athletics Chuck Bailey about his personal expectations for each specific sport at MHS this coming academic year.
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Here’s what the Mustang athletic director had to say in a sport-by-sport breakdown:
“The football team made it to the semifinals last year, which was a great accomplishment. This is going to be my seventh year at Mustang and this is going to be our best team we've had since I’ve been here. The core of last year’s team is returning this year, so we have big expectations for them this season. Our expectations are as high as ever. Of course, they have to stay healthy, but if they can, we expect big things.”
“We don’t have the individual superstars this year like we have had in the past, but we have a great coaching staff and we have depth in the program. We expect both the boys and girls cross country teams to be very competitive this season and excel as a group.”
“We are the defending state champions and we return a lot of really good players from last year’s group. Of course, we lost several really good players, including the Gatorade Player of the Year last year, Jayden Chestnut, but we have a good core group coming back. It has been since 2000-2001 when a team has won back-to-back state titles in softball when Broken Arrow did it, so we are hoping we can accomplish that goal this season. We expect big things from softball this year.”
“We are still in the rebuilding stage with volleyball. We need to keep taking the necessary steps to getting back to being where we want to be. The history is there, we have won several state championships in volleyball in the past, so we know we can get there. It just takes time.”
“Both our pom and cheer squads had great years last year. Our pom squad won a state championship and our cheer squad won a national title for the second straight year. Both programs are very important at Mustang High School and we want and expect to see continued success.”
“Last year was really special for boys basketball with the state championship and going 28-0. We lost a lot of key players from last year’s team, but with Terry Long running our program, you are always going to have a great chance to win a state championship. He will develop the younger guys and get them ready to step up in place of the ones we lost from a year ago. We expect big things again from the boys basketball team.”
“Girls basketball needs to get over the hump this year. We have a lot of talented young players coming up in the program and we have some experienced players who are finishing up their career here at Mustang. We don’t have unrealistic goals, but I think our first goal should be getting above .500 and then see what we can accomplish after that, but we expect to get over the hump this year.”
“Wrestling has been in the middle of the road for several years now. Dave Rankin got us back on the map in wrestling and Will Allen and the rest of the coaching staff is in place to keep taking steps to being the type of team we want to be. We have had the individual wrestlers over the years, but we haven’t had a strong overall team. We have to be realistic, but the goals can change during the season as the team progresses and improves. We just need to keep developing the program.”
“Our swimming program continues to get better and better each year. Coach (Bruce) Clifton is doing a great job of developing that program. We are going to face some challenges on where we are going to practice with OCCC closing their pool, but we are excited about the direction of the program. The next step is being able to compete against the best schools in the state.”
“We have an opportunity to win three straight state championships in powerlifting. We have made it important at Mustang and other schools haven’t done that. It also makes our football team better because it is football players that compete in the powerlifting competitions.”
“Our main core is coming back this year, so we are expecting big things from the baseball team next spring. We have yet to make a state tournament in baseball since I have been here at Mustang, so we are going to start with that. Once we get to the state tournament, anything can happen. We have a great coach in Scott Selby. We finally have the talent level we need to compete this year, we expect big things from baseball next spring.”
“Girls soccer has made it to the semifinals three out of the last six years and we are ready for them to take the next step and win a state championship. Soccer is very important in Mustang and we have a lot of talented players in our program. We have players who are going to be playing at the Division I level in college. We want to win a state title. If we can get to the final four, anyone can win.”
“Boys soccer needs to get over the hump next spring and be above .500. We have good stability with our coaching staff. We want to take the next step. We have great tradition in boys soccer and we want to get back to competing for state championships.”
“We are getting better every year in tennis. We have a lot of good young players on both the boys and girls teams. We have high expectations for both boys and girls next year in tennis.”
“The girls golf team has a lot of tradition and has a really strong team at 1-5, with a lot of quality individuals on the team. They have several girls who have the ability to go out and win a tournament every time they play. The boys still need to build depth. They have several good players, but they need to get to where the girls are and have a strong 1-5. It’s difficult since there are not a lot of courses in the area, but we are hoping they get there.”
“Girls track has good tradition because they have been able to pull several really good cross country runners over in the spring. Both boys and girls track are sports we are still trying to build. We want more success, but we need to get bigger numbers. More coaches in other sports need to be willing to share their athletes. I need to do a better job of demanding that from our coaches.”