PIGSKIN PREVIEW: Broncos more comfortable in year two under Dombek
When Mustang’s football team takes the field for the season opener Sept. 5 at Yukon, the Broncos will have a different level of confidence than they did a year ago.
Jeremy Dombek was entering his first season as the head man for Mustang, and it had been a whirlwind of a summer since he was hired in late May 2013.
Dombek brought in a state championship caliber coaching staff around him, but with only a few months before the season started, the new staff had to approach the summer a little differently than they normally would.
“It was definitely an adjustment period for everyone,” Dombek said. “It was harder on the players than the coaches because they had to learn a whole new system. We did some things similar to the previous staff, but the guys had to get used to how we liked things done.”
The struggle was apparent in the first several weeks of the regular season, as the Broncos struggled on both sides of the ball. The hardships included a disappointing opening-game loss at home to bitter-rival Yukon.
However, several weeks into the season, Mustang started to find its groove for the remainder of the regular season and came together to make a quarterfinal playoff run that ended at home in the hands of Broken Arrow in below freezing temperatures and icy conditions.
The sub-par weather conditions heavily favored the Tigers in that game as Broken Arrow was primarily a running team while the Broncos liked to air the ball out quite a bit.
Going into the 2014 season, Mustang is coming off one of the best offseasons in program history. Following the quarterfinal playoff run, the Broncos won the state championship in powerlifting during the winter months and then made a strong impact on the MHS track squad in the spring.
Mustang football players went through summer pride workouts that trumped any summer they had experienced before.
“I thought we had a tremendous summer,” Dombek said. “The guys worked really hard, and we had great numbers throughout the summer. You can definitely see the confidence level in everyone is a lot higher than it was a year ago. Not just from the players but from the coaches as well. We are a confident program right now.”
Dombek said he expects to see improvement in every facet of the game in his team this season.
“I thought the transition was a little easier offensively last year. This year, I expect the defense to see a lot of improvement. I think we have some more depth this year overall as well. Our sophomore class is pretty talented, but they still have yet to see varsity action, so the jury is still out.”
With the formation of the new 6A this season, Mustang finds itself with a schedule that will be one of the toughest in the state. In essence, the Broncos drop Choctaw and Putnam City West off their schedule (two teams that MHS should beat), and add Tulsa Union and Owasso (two teams who contend for the state title annually).
“It’s definitely going to present a unique challenge,” Dombek said. “I get asked that by a lot of people, but my answer is always the same. I don’t know how it’s going to affect us or anybody else for that matter. I know it will give us some pretty darn good football games every week.”