Anderson, MO — The McDonald County Mustangs are coming off winning the first ever district title last Friday night after defeating Bolivar 40-21 and being able to hoist up that district championship trophy was something special.

Senior Wide Receiver Josh Pacheco said, “It was awesome because, you know, our school, we don’t have a great history, but we’ve been slowly building up the past few years. Starting with my freshman year, we started winning a lot more games. Started building up our reputation and then of course, the end of last Friday, the win and first ever”.

Head Coach Kellen Hoover said, “I was so proud of our kids and and it was a really happy moment for them. Just something that they’ve worked so hard for all year. And, you know, the past couple of weeks, we’ve really had to battle and play with a lot of grit. And, you know, our kids just kept fight and kept believing in each other. And it was just great to see”.

It has been a rocky road up to this point. After starting out the season 3-3, there was discussion amongst the players and coaches for what they really wanted out of this season.

Senior Offensive Lineman Toby Moore said, “I’m just glad we got over it. And then I knew we could push through it and just me and some of our other teammates had to have a talk with everyone and so did Coach Hoover, and we got through it and I’m glad we did”.

McDonald County has currently won five of their last six games, defeating two seeded West Plains two weeks ago and the one seeded Bolivar Liberators last Friday night. So I guess it’s safe to say that their team meeting paid dividends and in how the Mustangs approach the rest of the season to reach this point.

Senior Quarterback Destyn Dowd said, “I mean, it really brought us together. First half of the season we were really playing for ourselves, not playing for each other, worrying about stats. And we had a team meeting. Everybody came together. And then after that, the record showed that once we play together that we’re a great football team, we can play with anybody.”…
Hoover said, “You could just see them really grow together, start to believe in each other and trust each other and play for each other.

And the keys to success for the Mustangs on Saturday is simple.

Moore said, “We just have to be the more physical team, just downright. We have to establish a run game”.

Pacheco said, “Just a big crowd and just effort and execution. That’s all it really comes down to”.

Dowd said, “Same thing we’ve been trying to do all year, be the most physical team, establish, a run game, stop their run game and being able to be back at home and with our fans in the stands that we have. It’d be a great opportunity to win”.

Their game on Saturday against Jefferson City (8-4) is set for a 1:00 p.m. kick-off at McDonald County High School.