Friday, September 5, 2014 – IT’S GAME DAY. The Blue Valley North Mustangs will play the Blue Valley Southwest Timberwolves tonight at the Blue Valley High School.

The Mustangs have made numerous off-season changes to the program, the most notable of which is new head coach Andy Sims. Sims was an All-Conference linebacker for the University of Central Missouri. After his playing days, he worked as the strength coach at UCM and then as the defensive coordinator at Culver-Stockton College. Sims is known for his ability to turn around programs and is “confident [the coaches] will put a plan in place that will allow our student-athletes to compete for championships.”

Many of the football players agree Coach Sims has been preparing them for success both on and off the field.

“Coach Sims has really brought the football program together and many of the sports programs. He is a lot more involved with our school in general, and he is very easy to approach,” junior Spence Bodenhamer said.

This year, Sims has implemented film studies for the football team. The team had mandatory film sessions at 6:45 a.m. all of this week in which they study the way their opponents play; however, Southwest’s formations cannot all be covered during scheduled practice.

“I have been watching film every night. I look at [Southwest’s] formations and positions that I will be matched up against,” junior Charlie Brock said. “Film is like my eighth hour.”

The physical preparation for tomorrow’s game has been intense. Most of the players have been abiding by a strict diet to further enhance their performance.

“I’ve been drinking 100 ounces of water a day, eating big meals composed of salads, fruits, and complex carbohydrates,” junior Madison Carrera-Welch said. “We are also supposed to get a good night sleep two nights before the game.”

The varsity squad has only six seniors; therefore, the leadership falls on many of the junior players’ shoulders. Many of the juniors have played since their freshman year, and most suited up for varsity last year.

“The juniors have always stepped up. I feel like we will carry the load for much of the team and do well this season,” Carrera-Welch said. “I think we can go .500.”

Interested students should to the game tonight at 7 p.m. The game will be at Blue Valley High School, 6001 W 159th St, Stilwell, KS 66085.

Photo by Jaxson Dubinsky