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|Coaches pleased with progress|
The River Oaks Mustangs are blossoming as a team right before the eyes of parents and coaches alike.
Coaches say the strength and confidence is coming into the psyche of each player during these hot summer months.
The public may not have had a good look at the 2009 edition of the River Oaks football team since the end of spring practice, but soon they will see the summer work that pays off with determination and skill.
Three nights per week, the team meets to lift weights at the school field house as a team.
With a two-hour workout put together by the coaching staff, the Mustangs have left spring practice with the will to not let their season end early as it did in 2008.
"We lift as a team from 6-8 p.m. three days per week," River Oaks head coach Robert Hannah said. "Monday, Tuesday and Thursday we are lifting. We require each kid to make 18 workouts throughout the summer."
River Oaks went 7-4 last season. The Mustangs lost in the second round of the MPSA football playoffs to Centreville Academy.
The biggest void to fill on the team could be that of quarterback Cody Trichell, who graduated after a decorated career for the Mustangs.
Junior Vincent Moore and sophomore Ryan McGregor are the leading candidates to take over the offensive signal-calling duties after an eventful spring competition has led the Mustangs into a busy summer of lifting.
Even if McGregor gets the nod at quarterback, fans will see a lot of Moore who is one of the best athletes on campus at River Oaks.
"We are excited about both guys," Hannah said. "We will play Vincent (Moore) in some spots at slot back. He is a great athlete."
Another thing that has Mustang coaches excited about their 2009 squad is the defensive backfield.
Returning talent is all over the field and the core part of the defense could be making big tackles as well as taking the ball away from opposing defenses with interceptions galore come August.
"The defensive backfield has been real solid for us in the spring," Hannah said. "We are going to be searching for one more solid cornerback. They have been doing real well."
Cornerback Darrel Barne and safety Lance Guinn could be a lethal combination for opposing quarterbacks and has River Oaks fans chattering with excitement about the coming defense.
"The linebackers have been impressive," Hannah said. "We have been pleased with the progress on the defensive side of the ball."
River Oaks will begin two-a-day practices on July 27.
The team will be using the time to fill some holes and address concerns in the trenches.
River Oaks coaches want to see some more depth in both the offensive and defensive lines.