Metea Valley is dealing with a lot of changes but new head Coach John Parpet hopes he can unlock the mustangs potential this season.
As if Head Coach John Parpet were teaching a creative writing course, the talk around the Metea Valley football field these days revolves around one word. Narrative.
Max: We’re really trying to change the narrative, maximize our potential – that’s two things coach Parpet has been instilling in us. Just looking forward to getting on the field.
CJ: Our coach has a new emphasis to change the narrative so basically we are just going to change it and make this a new program.
Max Barton is the center of an offensive line that hopes to pave the way for running back CJ Wilcox and company in the backfield. A year after having difficulty advancing the football down the field, it’s back to the basics in moving the chains.
CJ: A lot of foot work for the running backs. Last year we didn’t really work on footwork, but this year were crackin it really well.
Max: I’m just trying to get the group together; we have a few new people that were introduced into the line. So some new schemes we’re looking forward to.
Max, CJ and the rest of the offense will now look to yet another new signal caller. Stepping in to sling the football around, junior Nick Shannon looks to do something Mustang quarterbacks have failed to do at times in the last few years: put the ball in the back of the end zone.
He brings a lot, he’s a newbie but he is just a sponge, he soaks up everything. He’s a good quarterback and has a bright future ahead of him.
Max: He’s such a good quarterback, he learns, takes in everything, has his ears open all the time. He’s doing a fantastic job so it’s a smooth transition.
CJ: We got Elijah back there, we’ve got Austin, we got Nick and we got Keshawn Baker – we got a lot of weaponry we can use.
John: The have to find what the brand is of that team that year. And that’s what June and July were and now August is – what do they do well, let’s enhance the strengths and work on the weaknesses. That’s really what we’ve been focusing on, just trying to get better every day.
And one of those strength is the big target at tight end: Austin Frederick. Dealing with injuries last season, the versatile weapon is looking forward to showing off his talent in his senior season, but isn’t ready to attach numbers to his expectations.
Austin: No personal goals, no team goals – just get better everyday and keep moving forward during the season
Austin: We just gotta be a unit and show everyone that we can be a competitor and come out and play every game like it’s our last.
John: You want to compete, you don’t want to get pushed around, nobody wants to get pushed around. So all we’re doing is making sure they get the most out of their ability every day. Maximize whatever it is that they have in them.
And Parpet hopes the defense can keep the Mustangs in games, allowing the offense to find a groove. That mission starts with middle linebacker Dominic Giancana and extends to the rest of the defense.
Dominic: He’s trying to maximize our potential, basically, and put us in the best position possible to do our best on the field
Dominic: I’ve played with all these guys for a long time so they’re just brothers to me so it’s going to be a fun season and I’m ready.
But while every player exudes a sense of anticipation for the season ahead, Parpet is trying to keep them in the moment – focusing on one drill at a time.
John: My focus is getting through practice today, making sure every guy is getting the most out of their ability today and then we’ll take care of tomorrow, tomorrow, we’ll take care of Monday, Monday and we’ll take care of week one, week one.
Speaking of week one – that will come against Wheaton Warrenville South for a second straight year – a matchup they lost 26-0 last season.
The schedule also presents good and bad news with Metea’s biggest rival: They have to play Neuqua twice… but both games will come on the Mustang’s home turf.
After winning just one game all of last year, Metea Valley hopes to turn the page – in what will be many of these player’s final chapter as a Mustang
We got new coach, new ideas, ne players and it’s senior season so what’s not to be excited about.
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