NEEDLES — The Needles High School Mustangs football team is preparing for the 2018 Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association football season in the 2A South League.
“Our motto this year is earn it,” said Matt Fromelt, Mustangs head coach. “The players out here are competing for their spot and the opportunity to play Friday night, which brings out the best in them. That can help us achieve our goal of getting back to the playoffs this year.”
The Mustangs start their season with a home game against the River Valley Dust Devils on Friday, Aug. 17, at 7 p.m. on Branigan Field. Their first NIAA 2A South League game is against the Lake Mead Eagles on Sept. 14 at 7 p.m. in Henderson, Nev. Their first league home game is against The Meadows Mustangs on Sept. 20 at 7 p.m. The homecoming game is scheduled for Oct. 12 at 7 p.m. against the Eagles.
“I think the league will be a lot like last year,” said Fromelt. “I think we are going to have good parity throughout the league this year. I do expect Lincoln County, Lake Mead and Calvary Chapel to be good this year.”
Readers can take note that this year the Mustangs play the Lincoln County Lynx and Lake Mead Eagles twice in the season.
“The other league teams are not sure they will have enough to play 11 man so the three of us will be playing for the top 3 playoff spots,” said Bill Darrow, NHS athletic director.
Fromelt recognizes that a couple of his returning players are going to have to step up to fill the leadership role after a big group of seniors graduated in May.
“There are a couple of guys who are returning that will take up the leadership role for the team,” said Fromelt. “But we are going to count on everybody to have a successful season.”
The Mustangs have to fill the spot of starting quarterback for the varsity team and at the moment there are two players who are competing for the job. “Nathan Parker and Dawson Yeager are going to compete and work hard, which I know they’re going to do because they’re both great athletes,” said Fromelt. “They’re buddies as well so it’s going to be a good and fun competition and I know they’re going to push each other. We are going to be looking for a leader and ball security is going to be huge as well.”
The Needles High School staff reminded prospective student-athletes that a sports draw card (a clearance form to play sports) will be issued only when the online registration forms (Register My Athlete) and physical form are complete. This is an NIAA requirement. Students may not be on the practice field without a drawcard. Meyers Stevens and Toohey offer insurance coverage for those students who may need to purchase it. Applications are available in the office or call 800-827-4695. New students must bring a copy of their birth certificate. A drawcard will not be issued if an athlete has an outstanding debt to the school, incomplete paperwork, or grade ineligibility. To be eligible seniors, juniors and sophomores must have a GPA of 2.0 or better from the prior school year’s second semester grades. Freshmen may automatically start the fall season however they must be eligible (2.0) at the first nine-week grade check.