By Michael Kinney, Contributing Writer
Jeremy Dombek stood in the middle of the field watching. Mustang was going through its first days of pads during spring practice and he was eying his players intently Monday.
With a group of young Broncos joining a veteran cast, Dombek wanted to make sure they were ready to go.
“You’re always kind of anxious to see the new guys, the younger kids, especially on the first day of pads,” Dombek said. “To see if they are going to shy away from the loud noises. I thought that went well. You also want to see their attention level that you have coming back. Just for overall improvement.”
On the first day of pads, the MHS staff didn’t waste much time in giving a players a chance to hit each other. In the first drill of the practice, the offense lined up and just ran the ball and it was up to a young defense to try and stop them.
“We realize we’ve got most of our guys back on offense,” Dombek said. “And we expected them to be ahead of the curve, so to speak. We lost most of our guys on defense, so we don’t expect them to be as sharp. But what I really like is the way everybody was flying around. There was good energy.”
The Broncos are coming off a season in which they went 8-4 and made it to the semifinals of the state tournament. They were knocked out 68-42 by Norman North.
But because Mustang has almost its entire offensive personal back from last year, it puts the unit to far ahead of where they normally are during the spring.
“We’re light years, light years ahead of where we were this time last year offensively,” Dombek said. “The pace is a little bit faster. You don’t have to spend so much time correcting on the fly. You can focus on maybe your younger guys more. It’s just better for overall program development.”
In 2016 Mustang averaged 31.6 points per outing. However, Dombek knows they have to be more explosive in the upcoming season.
For the broncos, that means more throws downfield for quarterback Brayden Garrett and the MHS offense.
“We are going to have to be more productive in the passing game. We were adequate last year, but we’ve got to be a little bit more explosive in that area,” Dombek said. “We ran the football extremely well, very good in the play action. Bu as far as our drop back game, we were a little bit below our standards here. That’s one of the things we’re really focused on offensively, just really getting better in our dropback schemes.”
Dombek has always seen improvement from Garrett, who will be a senior next season.
“We Just see more in the passing. He had been OK last year, very good in play action,” Dombek said. “He was a great runner., runs the zone read extremely well and we expect big things out of him in that aspect. But just needs to get better dropping back, being more accurate, making quicker decisions. And I think you’re seeing him during the offseason and a few practices that we’ve had now, it looks like the game is slowing down for him.
“He is bigger, stronger, the ball is coming out of his hand quicker.”