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McDonald County aims for program’s first district title

ANDERSON, Mo. – In mid November, the McDonald County Mustangs are still at work.

“It hits you this week after the time change and practicing under the lights,” says McDonald County head coach Kellen Hoover. “That’s when it hits you that we’re playing a long ways into this season. We haven’t really had time to sit and think about what we’ve accomplished up to this point.”

The Mustangs are one win away from the school’s first district championship.

“We definitely want to be known as the first team to win a district championship,” says senior QB/DB Cole Martin. “We have to play like we have one more guaranteed and put it all out there.”

“I don’t think it’s really hit a lot of us seniors yet because we’re still in it,” says senior OL/DL Garrett Gricks. “We’re still striving to go farther and we just want to go as long as we can and keep playing as long as we can.”

West Plains is the final team that stands between McDonald County and the district title.

“We’ve got to win the physical battle, especially in the trenches,” Hoover says. “That’s has been our focus each and every week and this week is no different. It’s a football game like the rest of the year has been and the most physical team is probably going to walk off the field with a win.”

The Mustangs (10-1) faced a rigorous Big 8 conference schedule. It has prepared them for the postseason.

“That regular season schedule, that conference schedule just prepares you for playoff play,” Hoover says. “It’s a tough week each and every week and you have to show up. If you don’t bring your A-game every week in our conference you have a chance to get beat. So it really prepares you for what’s ahead.”

McDonald County has come a long way this season, but they’re still hungry for more.

“We’re pleased, but we’re not satisfied yet,” Gricks says. “We definitely set some big goals at the beginning of this year and we’ re getting the chance to accomplish them.”

“We’re not done,” Martin says. “We’re going to try and finish this thing.”

McDonald County travels to West Plains for the championship game on Friday at 7 PM.

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