The Monticello Mustangs are coming off a 10-win season and an appearance in the region finals, but the offseason brought a lot of change at MHS. With a new coach, a new quarterback, and new offensive scheme, the Mustangs say they might surprise some teams this year.
"I feel like the atmosphere's a lot different," says senior running back and safety T.J. Tillery. "We have different leaders, we have different players, just different things that are all going to fit well together this year."
Replacing Rodney Redd is new head coach Jeff Woody, who led his team to two state titles at Brookville High School. The Bees ran a no-huddle offense and scored more than 42-points-per-game last season. Woody spent the summer teaching the Mustangs the same no-huddle offense.
"It's very different from last season, very different," said senior lineman Adam Hill. "I like it because, I wouldn't say, I mean all the other teams are good, but I get to say they got something coming."
Senior quarterback James St. Hill will be running the offense this season. After a successful tenure at Brookville, Woody thinks the pieces are in place for Monticello to have similar success.
"There are very, a lot of similarities between where I've been and where I am now, and in a lot of cases where I am now is a lot better," Woody said.
Monticello has made the playoffs for the last three years in a row, but last year's region final is as far as they've gone. Now, with new leadership and a new offense, they're eyeing a deeper run into the state tournament.
"This is definitely a team that can get over the hump, and I'm ready to take on the challenge and sure that the rest of the team is," says Tillery. "We've continued to do what we need to do so we can be able to be very successful."
To make a deeper run in the playoffs, Woody says one thing his team needs to do is transform into a family.
"We've stressed to them how important it is to have the same mutual goals, have the same mutual hobbies, get out together, watch the game, play the Playstation, eat lunch, whatever it may be. We've got to hang together, we've got to be a family."