GREAT FALLS – This season, the expectations are sky high for the Great Falls Central Mustangs football team, and rightfully so. After making the playoffs last year and going 7-2, the Mustangs have a lot of big names returning this time around. Riley Dickinson, Ethan Vincent, and Isaac Armstrong all return, and so does University of Montana commit Noah Ambuehl at quarterback. You can tell the squad is overjoyed to have their leader back.
“I’ve got all my skill guys back and so I know what I have,” said head coach Greg Horton. “It’s been pretty easy to kind of program the practices and schedule them when you already know what you have coming back. I think it’s more of a personal gift for me for my second year.”
“We are going to be a big showtime kind of team, I guess is the way to say it,” said senior running back Matt Mendenhall. “We have a bunch of athletes coming back, it should be really fun. That’s the kind of football I like watching is hard hitters and active players, it should be fun.”
Great Falls Central, who at times looked so dominant during the regular season last year, ran into injuries at the end and faltered in the playoffs. The slogan the team will be riding by this time around makes all the sense in the world.
“Their team motto that we’re going to put on our team poster is, ‘unfinished business.’ We kind of feel as though we had a great first half of a playoff game last year over in Fairview against coach (Levi) Seitz and his well coached team, but we didn’t come out the second half,” said Horton.
The Mustangs lost key defensive players like Tyler Stevens and Trevor Yuhas to graduation, but the team confidently just looks at that and says next man up. Perhaps the biggest thing this veteran heavy Great Falls Central team has to face this year is not beating themselves.
“It’s just learning how to deal with adversity for us. Once Matt (Mendenhall) went down last year, it kind of started to spiral out of control for us,” said Ambuehl, a senior this year. “We have one bad play at Fairview at the end of the half, and I think if we have a good play there I think we have a better chance in that second half. But we just have to finish better and deal with adversity.”
“The big thing that we need to focus on is always finishing. Every drill in practice, everything we do, just working hard to get the finished product,” said Armstrong, a senior this year. “We can’t be satisfied, we can’t get complacent, just go out and play some ball.”