Mustangs look to stomp adversity and gallop to glory

What to expect from the LMC football team


Juan Cebreiros

Coach Shawn Tims working with players in a catching drill

Juan Cebreiros, Staff Writer

The Los Medanos Mustangs kicked off their season on the road against Gavelin College on Sept. 3, taking a brutal six point loss after a high scoring affair that ended with Gavelin taking home a 55-49 win. But Head Coach Christopher Shipe is optimistic for the team’s future moving forward.

This will be his 20th season on the Mustangs football coaching staff and his 12th as the head coach of this club. Despite the opening loss, Shipe hopes his young team will be competitive each week. 

This starts up top with the head coach as Shipe said, “I’m always learning from the past to better myself in the future,” and he hopes to instill this mindset in his players as well.

During the offseason the Mustangs football team saw an influx of lots of young talented players and they’ve been able to gel well with the veterans of the squad so far as 2021 high school grads have been practicing with the team for a long time now and 2022 grads having been practicing with the squad immediately following their high school graduation, training with the team since June. 

Shipe labels second-year Quarterback Jace Byrne as the leader of the offense as he looks to take a big step forward this season coming off 1,762 passing yards and 15 total touchdowns last season. In addition, he has a  young receiving group that consists of second-year receivers Bryan Cruz and Matt Quesada.Quesada posted 972 receiving yards and 1,881 all purpose yards last season. 

Shipe calls his offensive group of sophomores and freshmen as, “A good, young, competitive group that is also very athletic.”

The defensive side of the ball is also a young group as second-year players Niah Moliga at linebacker and Quatama Massaquoi at safety look to be the leaders. 

Freshman Bryson Parker was also a standout newcomer at cornerback during the offseason.  

However this young group was tested immediately out of the gate by Gavelin and will continue to be as three of their next four games will be on the road. Shipe has kept his eyes forward though, looking to take one game at a time during the long string of road games. If the team is able to play tough competitive football during the many road games to kick off the season, this could give the Mustang squad a huge gain of momentum and confidence as the latter half of the season is majority at home. 

With the team being so young, a lot of the pressure is on Shipe and the rest of the coaching staff as they try to get these players ready each week. 

“A number of coaches have experience with this team and this staff is an intelligently football minded staff,” said Shipe. 

This could be the biggest key to the Mustangs having success this season as the athleticism is there and it will be a matter of getting this young group to work together day in and day out.

One major concern Shipe has heading into this season is the injury bug. There are already a number of injuries on the roster, however rather than dwelling on it Shipe calls for the next man to step up and fill the spot.