Football Mustangs outlook hinges on new line, better defense

Marcellus has lots of skill, even battle for QB spot

— With the Class B West football landscape changing around them thanks to a fair amount of arrivals and departures, the Marcellus Mustangs stand out for its relative stability.

Season after season, the Mustangs, at the very least, put itself among the top four finishers in the league and get into the Section III playoffs, as it did in 2013, when it went 5-2 in the regular season and won a first-round sectional game over Vernon-Verona-Sherrill before falling in the semifinals to eventual champion Cazenovia.

But the question remains – how do the Mustangs go from good to great and challenge for a championship? Senior captain Will Coon said it all depends on hard work and avoiding mental mistakes during the games, while still doing all of the little things right.

It starts with chemistry. Senior running back Ian McGloon said that, among the younger players on the roster, there was a lot of participation in the various off-season programs, from conditioning to seven-on-seven tournaments.

“They show up to everything and they want to play,” said McGloon.

Going into August practices, head coach Joe Fiacchi anticipated a lot of position battles, including at quarterback, where Tom Keegan held the spot a season ago.

Indeed, junior Mike Keegan and sophomore Tom Fiacchi remained on fairly even terms going into last Saturday’s scrimmages. Either of them could start Friday’s opener at Solvay, and Joe Fiacchi said he’s comfortable with them both, with Keegan a bigger and more physical athlete, but Tom Fiacchi more adept at throwing the ball.

Whoever is under center, they’ll have proven threats at the skill positions to count on, with McGloon and Aaron Cusack at running back leading the running back corps and Coon back as the top wide receiver.

Coon, considered one of the top wideouts in Central New York, will draw plenty of double teams, so Nate Garlow, a running back in the JV ranks a year ago, could see open looks, as could tight ends Brian Jankowski and Shane Rohe.

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