Both the newcomers and veterans of the Mainland Regional High School football team have something to prove this season.

The Mustangs have been competitive the past four season but they haven’t had a winning season since they finished 12-0 and won the South Jersey Group IV title in 2008.

This is the last chance for talented seniors such as linemen Mike Bucca, David Donovan and Kenny Randall to be part of a winning team. Randall has verbally committed to Temple University.

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“We’ve come off three seasons of .500 football,” Mainland coach Bob Coffey said. “We’ve played pretty good football at times, but we’d like to see it improve. I look at it a challenge for me as a coach and the kids feel the same way. We haven’t been at the level that we’ve been in the past but we’ve held our own. It is cyclical in a public school system.”

The Mustangs will start several sophomores. They have potential but like all young players must prove they can be successful on the field.

Mainland has built around talented classes in the past. Many of the seniors on the 2008 team started as sophomores and went 5-5 in 2006.

Coffey said this team is close and the veterans and sophomores make for an interesting mix.

The Mustangs will be a run-oriented team. Senior Ty Mindisch has the edge at quarterback but sophomore Sam Jackson is competing for the position. Running back Justin Walsh has shown excellent speed.

Mainland are trying to develop depth in the preseason.



I've covered high school sports and variety of other events and teams - including the ShopRite LPGA Classic and the Phillies - since 1993.

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