By Michael Kinney
It was hard for coach Jeremy Dombek to watch. The first round of the postseason began last week and all the Mustang High football coach could do was stew.
With Mustang being knocked out of playoff contention on the final day of the regular season, the opening weekend of the postseason was not a joyous time.
“At the end of the day, we’re sitting at home this week and we should be playing,” Dombek said. “Something we’re not used to. Hasn’t been a very good day realizing that everybody is going off to play in the playoffs, something that we expect to do every year. We’re sitting at home, so it’s mostly below our standards. But our kids faced some adversity, they never really gave up. Instead of finishing 3 and 7, we finished 5 and 5. So I guess that’s a positive.”
The Broncos finished the regular season with a 5-5 record. They ended the season with a 48-28 loss to undefeated and defending 6A-1 champion Tulsa Union. It was the final game for a senior class that helped make the Broncos a contender.
“It’s gotta be tough, man,” Dombek said. “Credit to them, we probably played our best game at Tulsa Union last Friday night. So we played extremely hard, extremely well, so they went down swinging, went down fighting. So I was proud of them.”
When the Broncos look back on the 2017 season, more than likely there is one game that will stand out more than other. That was a loss to Moore High that essentially eliminated them from the playoffs as an official’s call in the final minute went against them.
“There’s a lot of moments, good and bad. I like the way our young players stepped up and progressed throughout the year on defense. Really pleased with how our receivers, Mason Lowe, Damian Close, ended the year with big plays. Good for them,” Dombek said.” Can’t think of one single moment. Obviously, there’s the loss to Moore and how that occurred is probably something that, if you wanted to put a stamp on the season, that would be it to be honest with you. And it’s our pill to swallow. And I wish there was a better memory, but it’s not.”
Dombek plans to use the lesson of not putting the game into the hands of the officials throughout next season.
“We’ll remind them of that every day,” Dombek said.
For the players returning, they do not have to wait long. After a week off, the Broncos have already began off season workouts.
“I want to just see constant improvement. Consistency,” Dombek said. “Now, we talked about it (Friday). We had a team meeting. We’re actually getting started Monday. The 2018 season begins for us (this) week. And we just wanna see attitude, effort, and consistency each and every day.”