GREAT FALLS -- The Great Falls Central football team is in a rare position heading into the 2019 season. The Mustangs return 11 seniors, but few of them have extensive varsity experience, playing behind the most successful class in school history the past three years.
“You don't see that this much in high school football in Montana anymore where guys have to wait until their senior year to have the opportunity to play,” said head coach Greg Horton. “We got 11 seniors who waited behind a talented group of seniors last year. So I'm just excited for them to be out here.”
“We’ve been waiting a while,” said quarterback Shane Girres. “You think a Class C school with not a lot of kids you usually play when you’re a sophomore or junior, but we’ve been behind seniors the whole time. So it’s finally our time to prove ourselves.”
Girres has the most experience among this year’s Mustangs and moves from wide receiver to quarterback where he’ll take over for four-year starter and current Montana Grizzly Noah Ambuehl.
“Me and Noah definitely play a lot differently,” Girres said. “I run a lot more than he does, he can throw it like 65 yards. Our offense is going to be a lot more run-heavy this year. We got a lot of talented athletes that can run the football, we’ll pass when we need to.”
"I think we just traded like a Duramax diesel for a Lamborghini,” Horton said of the switch under center. “But you know, it's just a lot different. And I think the one thing that needs to be made aware are these guys, they're not the same. They're not the same team from last year. They have a different level of goals and expectations. They're not the same team, so they're not going to have the same style.”
But what won't change are the standards of the program.
“This is Mustang football. This is a highly successful football program and it's about going to the playoffs and it's about winning,” Horton said. “And it's about doing things the right way. And so I think as long as they kind of respect the merits of this program, their style of football doesn't have to be like last year's team. I think they understand that.”
Great Falls Central will open the season against Twin Bridges on Saturday, Aug. 31.