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Mustang Youth Football Association upgrades facility

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Numerous volunteers and members of the Mustang Youth Football Association have turned the Mustang youth football facility from unusable to one of the top fields in the area.

The city of Mustang put $1.7 million into the new Little League baseball complex, but has put zero dollars into the youth football facility. The city has donated mowers and other lawn equipment to the MYFA as well as help clean out the ditch that runs through the park.Whole Field One

Through volunteer work, the MYFA has spent roughly $4,000 on upgrades to the youth football field and facilities in the park.

Louis Krivanek, MYFA board president, said without help from the volunteers, there would be no youth football in Mustang this year.

“The field looks great,” he said. “We have watered it constantly and improved the facilities around the field as well. The concession stand looks like a new building, and we have a press box on the way. We have reversed the bleachers so the home-side bleachers are nicer and they look more like football bleachers.”

The area surrounding the main game field used to have fencing that was falling down and shrubbery all around it. The volunteers cleaned all that shrubbery off the area and made room for teams to warm up before their games.

The MYFA ordered 2,000 feet of black mesh to put around the fencing they could not tear down. Games will get under way tonight as the 11-year-old teams will play their preseason round-robin.

“Our goal is to make our facility look as modern as possible,” Krivanek said. “We are repainting and repairing everything we can to make this facility as impressive as possible.”

The ages that will be playing for the MYFA this fall are 6-year-olds through 11-year-olds, first-graders through sixth-graders. So far, the MYFA has 14 teams signed up to play this year, which is the most they have ever had. Roughly 180 new children have signed up to play football this year.

“Our goal is to have around four teams per age group, so we are pleased with the numbers we have this year,” Krivanek said. “We would like that number to keep increasing.”

Krivanek said the MYFA has entered a verbal contract with a company to come in this winter and redo the main game field and then turn one of the practice fields into another game field, so they can play two games at once.

“If we can play two games at once, that would totally eliminate having to play on Saturdays,” he said. “Right now, we still have to play a couple Saturday games, but if we can build another game field, we would just play on weeknights.”

Krivanek said this job wouldn’t get done if it wasn’t for the help of all of the volunteers for the MYFA, including Travis Helling, who is the vice president of the MYFA.

Mustang City Parks and Recreation Director Justin Battles said the city has helped out with the youth football facility a little bit, but the majority of the work has been done by the MYFA.

“They deserve all the credit,” he said. “They have been working tirelessly to make that facility the best it possibly can be. They have added practice space, improved the game field and updated the facilities. It’s really been impressive.”

The MYFA just recently started a website that shows all the information about the Mustang Youth Football Association and how people can help in any way. The website also allows for people to sign up to play in the league. The website is www.mustangyouthfootball.net. Sign-ups for football are May 1 through July 1.

Kyle Salomon is the sports editor at the Mustang News. He can be reached at ksalomon@mustangnews.info.

Lady Broncos start 2014 strong on diamond

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The Lady Broncos softball team made quick work of Putnam City West on the road Thursday afternoon with a five-inning 11-0 win over the Patriots.

Senior pitcher Jayden Chestnut started the game in the circle for Mustang, and in two innings of work struck out six batters and allowed just one base runner, who reached safely on an error.Jaquelyn Kelm One

Freshman Kylie Dodson came in for Chestnut in the bottom of the third inning and held Putnam City West scoreless in two innings of duty in the circle. Dodson had three strikeouts with no walks and allowed two hits in her first varsity outing.

Junior Lexi Vargas started at first base for Mustang, but came in to close the game in the circle in the bottom of the fifth. Vargas had three strikeouts and walked one batter in her one inning of action.

The MHS offense was potent against the Lady Patriots’ pitching as the Broncos scored in three out of the five innings in the contest. Mustang scored three runs in the first inning, four runs in the second and four in the third inning. They were scoreless in innings four and five.

Senior catcher Jaquelyn Kelm was explosive at the plate for the Lady Broncos as she finished the night with four RBIs on a two-run home run and a two-run double. Fellow senior Caisey Jones was also solid at the plate as the shortstop logged three hits in the game.

Overall, the Mustang defense allowed just four Putnam City West base runners while the offense had 14 total hits in the first game of the season.

Mustang head coach Bryan Howard said he was pleased with the first game of the year.

“It was a good win. Any win is a good win. It’s a good way to start for us. We got a lot of good work in today. Our short game was good today and we got three different pitchers in the game, which helped us get ready for Broken Arrow.”

Lady Broncos go 4-2 in Broken Arrow tournament

Despite dropping their first two games of the event, the Mustang softball team had a strong weekend in BA, going 4-2 in the tournament.

The Bronco girls lost two one-run games to Chickasha, 5-4, and Owasso, 4-3. They defeated Poteau, 8-0, hung on to beat Westmoore, 8-7, shut down Coweta, 2-0, and had their way with Cleveland, 8-0.

Following the tournament, Mustang’s overall record was 5-2.

Chestnut pitched a perfect game for the Lady Broncos against Cleveland.

Howard said he was proud of the way the girls competed throughout the weekend.

“We made several mistakes, but all of the mistakes we made were because we were thinking ahead too much,” he said. “I can handle those kinds of mistakes because you can fix those. We start five freshmen right now, so for the first 15 games or so, we are going to make mistakes, but I’m very proud of the way we bounced back to win four in a row.”

The Lady Broncos traveled to Putnam City North on Monday and played their first regular season home game on Tuesday evening against Norman. Both games are district contests.

Mustang will participate in the Southmoore Festival at 12:45 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Friday.

Kyle Salomon is the sports editor at the Mustang News. He can be reached at ksalomon@mustangnews.info.

Mustang volleyball team off to hot start

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First-year head coach Caitlyn Bernhardt couldn’t have asked for a better start to her coaching career than the one she got last weekend at the Bishop McGuinness tournament.

The Lady Broncos volleyball team played five matches in the two-day event, winning four out of the five and making it to the tournament championship game, where they would eventually fall to host team Bishop McGuinness.VB Six

“I’m honestly kind of shocked with how well we played,” Bernhardt said. “I knew we had the ability and the talent to play well, but we lost a lot of players from last year’s group, so I didn’t expect these young girls to come in and play the way they played in their first varsity experience. It was really great to see.”

Mustang opened up the tournament against Putnam City North. MHS made quick and easy work of the Lady Panthers with a three games to none sweep to open their regular season.

In their second contest of the event, the Bronco girls took on Choctaw, a team that has given them fits over the past several years. Mustang won a thrilling match against the Yellowjackets, three games to two.

MHS took the first two games of the match, but Choctaw responded by taking the next two games, forcing a fifth and deciding game. The Lady Broncos were able to hold off the Yellowjackets and get their second win of the season.

The Broncos then took on Putnam City and handled the Lady Pirates with relative ease, winning that match three games to one.

In the semifinal match-up, Mustang took on Midwest City. MHS would prevail in the contest, but they would need another five games to do it. Unlike the Choctaw match, the Lady Broncos and Lady Bombers traded games with Mustang winning games one, three and five, while MWC won games two and four.

In the championship match, the Bronco girls took on the host of the tournament, Bishop McGuinness, one of the top volleyball programs in all of Class 5A.

The Fighting Irish took care of business against Mustang, ending the winning streak and handing the Lady Broncos their first loss of the 2014 season.

“I was really impressed with our offense,” Bernhardt said. “I thought we moved the ball around really well and our play around the net was really good. We lost a lot of height from last year’s group, so for our younger girls around the net to play the way they did was a great sign for the future.”

The Lady Broncos opened dual play this week as they played host to Putnam City North on Tuesday evening. MHS hosts defending Class 6A state champion Edmond Santa Fe at 6 p.m. tonight at the Wellness Center at Mustang High School.

The Broncos travel to Westmoore Friday and Saturday for a two-day tournament this weekend.

“Even though we played well and got off to a good start, we still have a lot of room to improve,” Bernhardt said. “Obviously, it was a great way to start for us, but it’s a long season. We have to keep working hard and getting better.”

Kyle Salomon is the sports editor at the Mustang News. He can be reached at ksalomon@mustangnews.info.

Lady Bronco softball team dismantles PC West in opener

Caisey

The Lady Bronco softball team made quick work of Putnam City West on the road Thursday afternoon with a five-inning 11-0 win over the Patriots.website commentary new.qxd

Senior pitcher Jayden Chestnut started the game in the circle for Mustang, and in two innings of work struck out six batters and allowed just one base runner, who reached safely on an error.

Freshman Kylie Dodson came in for Chestnut in the bottom of the third inning and held Putnam City West scoreless in two innings of duty in the circle. Dodson had three strikeouts with no walks and allowed two hits in her first varsity outing.

Junior Lexi Vargas started at first base for Mustang, but came in to close the game in the circle in the bottom of the fifth. Vargas had three strikeouts and walked one batter in her one inning of action.

The MHS offense was potent against the Lady Patriot pitching as the Broncos scored in three out of the five innings in the contest. Mustang scored three runs in the first inning, four runs in the second and four in the third inning. They were scoreless in innings four and five.

Senior catcher Jaquelyn Kelm was explosive at the plate for the Lady Broncos as she finished the night with four RBI’s on a two-run homerun and a two-run double. Fellow senior Caisey Jones was also solid at the plate as the short stop had three hits in the game.

Overall, the Mustang defense allowed just four Putnam City West base runners while the offense had 14 total hits in the first game of the season.

Mustang head coach Bryan Howard said he was pleased with the first game of the year.

“It was a good win. Any win is a good win. It’s a good way to start for us. We got a lot of good work in today. Our short game was good today and we got three different pitchers in the game, which helped us get ready for Broken Arrow.”

The Lady Broncos hit the road for Broken Arrow directly following their win at Putnam City West. Mustang is playing in a two-day tournament Friday and Saturday at BA High School. MHS will play six games total in the event.

Kyle Salomon is the sports editor at the Mustang News. He can be reached at ksalomon@mustangnews.info.

Softball shows off tradition with annual Alumni Game

AG 10

By Kyle Salomon,

When you think about successful programs in sports at every level, you think about tradition and what it means to that particular program.

Oklahoma head football coach Bob Stoops understood that when he was hired in 1998. He immediately reached out to former Sooner players and coaches and developed a family-like atmosphere and now he is sitting at the top of one of the best college football programs in the country.

Mustang softball understands that as well. Lady Broncos softball has as rich of a tradition as anyone can have when it comes to the level of players that have come out of their program.

One of the best nights of the year for the entire MHS athletic program is the Alumni Game for the Bronco softball team.

Once a year in August, just before the regular season begins, the Mustang softball program brings back as many former players to play the annual Alumni Game against the current Lady Broncos.

They do keep score, but no one cares about the outcome of the contest, it’s all about having a good time and embracing the legacy that is MHS softball.

First-year Mustang head softball coach Bryan Howard said he knew of the history of the program coming in, but the Alumni Game opened his eyes to just how special it really is.

“I was really impressed with the whole day,” he said. “The crowd was unbelievable, the former players that came back to be a part of the event, the current players and coaches all made the night really, really special. It’s important that we honor the past players for their accomplishments here.

“We want them to feel like this is their home that they can come back to whenever they want. We want them to enter the facility through our clubhouse, not the front gate.”

The whole day ended up being a big success for the Lady Broncos softball program. They hosted their annual scramble golf tournament at Crimson Creek in El Reno on Saturday morning, which Howard said was a major success.

The evening festivities got under way at 6 p.m. with Mustang North Middle School taking on Mustang Middle School in a scrimmage. Following the middle school game, the second annual home run derby got under way.

The cost to compete in the derby was $5 for five swings or $10 for 10 swings and anyone could compete. Numerous people participated in the event as former players, current players, parents, families and fans all sent softballs sailing into the night.

Finally, the Alumni Game capped off the night as the alumni team battled the current Lady Broncos on the diamond. There were several blood feuds in the game as sisters competed with one another and even a mother-daughter competition was on display.

Howard said the Alumni Game wasn’t about winning and losing, it was about continuing to build on tradition and to have a fun time together before the regular season starts this week.

“I found myself getting pretty competitive in the first inning, but then I realized this wasn’t about competing like that, it was about having fun and enjoying ourselves for one night,” he said. “We exceeded our expectations as a program with the whole day. I couldn’t be happier.”

The Lady Broncos get their regular season officially started at 4:30 p.m. this afternoon as they take on Putnam City West on the road. They return to action Friday and Saturday as they travel to compete in the Broken Arrow tournament.

Kyle Salomon is the sports editor at the Mustang News. He can be reached at ksalomon@mustangnews.info.

Cross country teams ready for fresh start this season

CC Seven

By Kyle Salomon,

As they enter into the 2014 cross country season, there is one word resonating through the locker rooms for the Mustang harriers – “team.”

Both the Bronco boys cross country team and the Lady Bronco harriers graduated numerous key components from last year’s teams.

However, the girls are returning senior Kyra Fuller and junior Jaci Jones, who will lead the way for Mustang. The boys are returning a top-10 individual placer from a year ago, Lance Frost, who is preparing to compete in his senior season for MHS.

The Bronco cross country teams have not been taking the summer lightly. Both squads have been practicing at 7 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays at Wild Horse Park in Mustang throughout the break. They also took a couple of Saturdays to go out and ride bicycles around Lake Overholser.

Monday afternoon was their first non-morning practice of the year.

Head boys coach Mike McGarry said he was pleased with the work the team put in over the summer.

“Overall, I’d say it was a good summer for us,” he said. “We had quite a few kids come out this summer and really improve their times from a year ago. Another really cool thing we had this summer was a lot of middle school kids coming out to join us for practices. That’s good for the future of the program to have them out there with us.”

McGarry and the rest of the coaching staff put the harriers through a tough workout before they went on their three-mile run on Monday afternoon.

Their first event of the season is Friday night with the 12-hour run that will begin at 7 p.m. and end at 7 a.m. on Saturday morning. The all-night event is a fundraiser for the MHS cross country programs.

The first actual race for the runners will be Aug. 28 in the Mustang Harrier at Wild Horse Park, followed the next weekend with the Western Days Stampede.

Head girls coach Vickie Bailey said she is pushing the “team” aspect this year.

“We have to work as a team this season,” she said. “We had a lot of middle school kids come out and run with us over the summer and that is another example of building a team. We want to have a strong team from the seventh grade through seniors.”

Bailey said the summer practices were a success for the Bronco harriers.

“We had a really good summer. We worked really hard as a group. The team came together and bonded as the summer went along.”

Jaci Jones will be counted on as one of the leaders on the girls squad this fall. She said the team needs to focus on having fun and relaxing.

“Kyra and I are the only two girls returning to varsity from last year’s team, so it’s going to be a lot different,” she said. “We are going to have a lot of inexperience, but if we can focus on having fun as a team, I think we will be fine.”

Jones said the summer months were good for the chemistry of the group.

“We came together this summer. We made sure to stay together during our workouts and I really think that helped us develop a bond.”

Kyle Salomon is the sports editor at the Mustang News. He can be reached at ksalomon@mustangnews.info.

Lady Bronco softball enters new era under Howard

Coach Howard One

By Kyle Salomon,

As Mustang softball enters a new era with Bryan Howard as the new head coach of the program, they will do so with one of the best high school softball pitchers in the nation in the circle for MHS.
Senior hard-throwing right-hander Jayden Chestnut fanned 10 Yukon batters in just four innings of the first scrimmage of the year Monday at the Yukon Scrimmage Festival at the Yukon High School softball complex.
The Lady Broncos defeated the Lady Millers in the four-inning scrimmage 1-0, leaving seven runners on base in the contest. The Bronco girls then turned around and put an 8-2 spanking on Edmond Santa Fe directly following their victory over Yukon.
Howard said he was proud of the way the team opened the scrimmage season on Monday.
“Overall, it was a solid day for us,” he said. “You really can’t ask for much more on day one. We made a few mistakes here and there that we will correct, but I thought overall it was a good first day out here. We left too many runners on base in that first game, but we will get better.”
The scrimmage season will run through the end of this week, capped off by the annual Mustang Softball Alumni Game on Saturday night.
The Lady Broncos scrimmaged two more times on Tuesday in Yukon at the Yukon Scrimmage Festival. They then scrimmaged two more times on Wednesday at the Putnam City North Scrimmage Festival.
This morning, they scrimmage two more times at Putnam City North at 10:30 a.m. and noon. Then at 3 p.m they have their first home scrimmage against Southmoore. They conclude their scrimmage season at 3 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Friday at home against El Reno and Tuttle.
The Alumni Game will take place at 6 p.m. Saturday at the Mustang High School softball complex, with the regular season officially starting at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 14 at Putnam City West. The following day the Bronco girls will travel to Broken Arrow to compete in the BA Softball Tournament Aug. 15 and 16.
Howard said the point of the scrimmages is to develop chemistry and improve as a team before the season begins.
“We know we are going to make mistakes at this point in the year,” he said. “But we have to work hard and correct those mistakes so they don’t occur during the regular season and cost us games. That’s why we have to take care of them now.”
Howard isn’t the only new face to the Mustang High School softball team. Katelyn Fischer, Laci Jones and Kodi Jones were three key players to the success of Lady Broncos softball for the past four years, but they graduated in May and are playing in the college ranks.
The Bronco girls will rely on multi-year starters and seniors Chestnut and Caisey Jones to lead the way on and off the field this season.
Last year was a successful season for the Mustang softball team as the girls made it to the semifinal round of the state tournament before falling to Moore High School, but Howard said he’s looking forward to seeing what this team can accomplish.
“We have some young girls who will have to grow up quickly for us,” he said. “But we have some really good seniors who will be good leaders for us. I’m excited to see what we can do this year.”

Kyle Salomon is the sports editor at the Mustang News and can be reached at ksalomon@mustangnews.info.

Effort is key for Mustang volleyball in 2014

Five

By Kyle Salomon,

As Caitlyn Bernhardt enters her first season as the head coach of the Mustang volleyball team, there is one word she wants to build her program around – effort.

“Right now we are just focused on one thing, and that is effort,” she said. “It’s important that we give full effort every time we are doing something as a team. Whether it’s in practice, workouts or games, we have to learn how to give full effort all of the time.”

Bernhardt was hired to be the new head coach in June following the resignation of Taryn Steele, who was the head coach for just one year.

Bernhardt served as the assistant coach and head junior varsity coach for last year’s Mustang volleyball program, so she was not brand new to the team. She is not new to Mustang High School either as she graduated from MHS in 2008.

The team has been practicing throughout the summer in the wellness center since Bernhardt was hired. Practices have ramped up in the past few weeks with the start of the regular season just days away.

“I feel like practices have been going pretty well so far,” Bernhardt said. “We are doing some different things than we have done in the past, especially with our conditioning, but I think the girls are handling things really well.”

The Lady Broncos started scrimmages this week. They traveled to Moore on Tuesday to scrimmage against Moore High School and Bishop McGuinness. At 3 p.m. today they will play their Red/White scrimmage in the wellness center at MHS.

The regular season officially gets under way on Aug. 15 when the Mustang girls travel to Bishop McGuinness to compete in the Bishop McGuinness volleyball tournament.

Last season was a successful one as the senior-laden team made it to the regional championships before falling to eventual state champion Edmond Santa Fe.

The 2014 volleyball senior class will be playing for its third head coach in three years. Senior Lesley Barnes said it is difficult but the team likes playing for Bernhardt.

“I think Coach Bernhardt will be a really good coach for us,” Barnes said. “She’s really nice and will help us have a successful season.”

Being early in the year, teams don’t want to be peaking right now. Mustang is no different. Senior Reagan McNeil said the team needs to improve in every area with the scrimmages.

“We need to make sure we develop chemistry on the court when we scrimmage, so we have that going into the regular season. We just have to keep getting better in every part of the game.”

Bernhardt said the team has been working on every facet of the game in practice and hasn’t developed a team identity yet.

“We understand we lost a lot of good players from last year’s team,” she said. “We are working hard to be as good as we can be in every area of the game. We aren’t going to be just great in one particular area, but I believe we can be solid in every area. One of the girls came up to me and said, ‘Coach, we actually can be pretty good.’ The biggest thing for us is to have confidence we can get it done.”

Kyle Salomon is the sports editor at the Mustang News and can be reached at ksalomon@mustangnews.info.

Ridge building family legacy on the race track

Good

By Kyle Salomon,

Starting a family legacy can be a difficult challenge, but for Mustang resident Tanner Ridge, the challenge is accepted with open arms.

The 2010 Mustang High School graduate has been racing cars since he was the ripe age of 13 years old. He started out racing mini-sprint cars on dirt tracks and then in the past year has shifted to modified stock cars.

Ridge’s father was also a race car driver, but when Ridge turned 13,  he hung up his keys and let his son take control of the racing in the family.

Ridge had his first son nine months ago and he hopes to continue the family legacy by doing the same thing his dad did when he was a 13-year-old boy.

“I want to keep racing until the day I die,” Ridge said. “I love it. Or I’ll just race until my son is old enough to start his racing career and do the same thing my dad did and let him take over.”

The type of car Ridge races now is called a sport-mod, which means the car itself is more contained.

“The actual modified class is where you can do almost whatever you want to the car,” Ridge said. “That’s the only real difference between the sport-mod and the actual modified class. In my class you can only do so much. It keeps everybody even. You don’t have that guy that goes and spends $100,000 on a motor and wins every time.”

Ridge said most of the races take place in Lawton and Ardmore, but more tracks are being built around the area.

“There’s a new track out by Canton Lake. It’s about a mile from there and it’s called Long Dale. We’re hoping once the season starts closing up we will go try a couple of the new tracks. They also just opened one down in Wichita Falls. We plan on searching for more tracks and new places to compete.”

One of the reasons Ridge wants to find new tracks to race is seeing familiar faces on the dirt track every time you go to the same place.

“For the most part, there’s the same 20-25 guys there racing every week. You’ll have one or two new guys out there every now and then but that’s about it.”

Stock car racing is not a full-time gig for Ridge. He is an electrician for the Braums Farm in Tuttle. Ridge said he’s trying to get his electrician’s license and he’s a year and a half away from accomplishing that goal.

There are numerous professional series where stock car racing can become a full-time job, but Ridge said he doesn’t have interest in doing that.

“We do this because we love it. It’s a fun hobby for us. You have to have someone completely backing you financially in order to make it your profession because it can get real expensive real fast.”

When people are doing something they are passionate about and love doing, there’s a certain feeling that runs through their veins. Ridge is no different when it comes to racing.

“It’s a crazy adrenaline rush. It’s hard to explain exactly what it feels like. You’re so locked in, you don’t think of anything else. That’s all you can think of at that moment. For me, it’s almost a stress reliever.”

However, stock car racing isn’t the safest hobby to have in the world. Ridge said it can get pretty bumpy out on the track.

“It’s never personal or on purpose. Usually, someone isn’t going to ram you just to do it. We ride each other, though. That happened to me this past weekend. I was in fourth trying to get by the third-place car and he rode me for an entire lap.”

Winning is also in Ridge’s blood. He said competing is what it’s all about.

“We have won one feature race this year. The feature races are the main race of the night. We hope to keep getting more wins in the future.”

Ridge said having his infant son out at the tracks and around the stock-car atmosphere is important to him.

“He loves it. We rev up the engines and it doesn’t faze him at all. We want him to love being around it so when the time comes, he can take over and fill my shoes.”

Kyle Salomon is the sports editor for the Mustang News. He can be reached at ksalomon@mustangnews.info.

Hadlock realizing dream on different path

Goalkeeping One

By Kyle Salomon,

One year ago, Colton Hadlock was preparing for his senior year at Mustang High School and his final campaign in the Bronco football program.

Hadlock was solely focused on playing football in 2013 for MHS and on his future, which he thought for sure was going to be playing collegiate football.

The 2014 Mustang graduate is now preparing to begin a new chapter of his life as he enters the world of college athletics beginning this fall.

However, as history has proved time and time again, the path is not what Hadlock thought it would be 12 months ago.

The 6-foot-5 sure-handed Hadlock has committed to play soccer at Southern Nazarene University after playing the sport for only six months.

“I would have told you, you were crazy if you would have told me I would be going to college to play soccer a year ago,” Hadlock said. “But I couldn’t be happier. I know this is what I am supposed to be doing.”

After the football season came to a conclusion last November, Hadlock was talking with numerous colleges about playing football at the next level.

During the winter holiday break, the Mustang High School soccer coaches approached Hadlock about trying out soccer and being a goalkeeper for the 2014 version of the Bronco boys soccer team.

With Hadlock’s height, long arms, athleticism and sure hands, the MHS soccer coaches thought Hadlock would make a top-notch goalkeeper.

“In the past I didn’t do it because I was so focused on getting ready for the next football season,” Hadlock said. “But last year was different because I didn’t have that anymore. I’m good friends with a lot of guys on the soccer team, so I thought it would be a lot of fun and I thought I could help the team.”

The transition wasn’t easy for Hadlock as he quickly learned that catching a soccer ball is entirely different than catching a football.

“They are just two different things. I was so used to catching footballs that it took awhile to get used to a soccer ball. I also had to learn how to kick the ball off the ground and place it down the field.”

One area of Hadlock’s football game that directly translated to the soccer field was the punting aspect of being a goalkeeper.

Hadlock was the punter on the 2013 Mustang football team and quickly earned a reputation for booming the ball down the field. He was able to use that skill in soccer as well as he would send the ball soaring through the air from the front of the net.

Hadlock said he never thought playing college soccer was even an option until playing the goalkeeper position became more natural with every game.

Hadlock said three Mustang soccer coaches are the ones to thank for getting him on the soccer field and working with him to develop his skills in the net.

“Coach (Jared) Homer, Coach (Chad) Long and Coach (Tyler) Wythe all worked countless hours with me helping me get to where I am. There is no way I would have this scholarship if it wasn’t for those three coaches. I owe them a lot.”

Hadlock said SNU was the right choice because of its soccer program, its proximity to his hometown (Mustang), and they have one of the best nursing programs in the state, which is what Hadlock wants to do with his career.

“It’s just a really good fit. I really like their head coach (George Schroeder) and with their nursing program being so good, I knew it was the right place for me.”

Hadlock said going into his freshman season this fall, he has one main goal in mind.

“I want to work as hard as I can and earn the starting job as the goalkeeper. They have no returning goalkeepers on their roster, so I am really going to push hard for that position.”

Kyle Salomon is the sports editor of the Mustang News. He can be reached at ksalomon@mustangnews.info.