Lee Blankenship has the Mustang football program right where he envisioned.
Over his first four seasons, the Spiro graduate has helped guide the Broncos to 91 wins, four Class 6A-1 playoff appearances, an academic state title, and of course four straight victories over the school’s cross-county rival Yukon.
Last year, the first class to have played for Blankenship and his staff for four years won a school record eight regular season games and reached the state semifinals for just the seventh time ever.
That group has, for the most part, graduated. And now, the former District Coach of the Year, is looking to keep the program’s momentum rolling with just a tad less experience on the roster.
But not less talent.
“It’s OK. You can say it. We’re young this year,” said Blankenship, whose squad squares off against Southmoore on Friday night at Bronco Stadium to kick off the 2023 season.
“We have a lot of depth, just not a lot of experience. But if that lack of experience grows up early, we’ll be right in the discussion for being one of the best teams in the state of Oklahoma.”
Louie Jones (Jr.) lines up against Edmond Santa Fe during a game on the road last season. Jones and the Broncos are set to take the next step after reaching the semifinals in 2022. (Photo by Ron Lane / Lane Images)
The Broncos graduated a large portion of one of the best teams in school history, including a three-year starter at quarterback, two Division-1 playmakers on both offense and defense, and other key pieces and current college players who helped fuel the semifinals run.
However, the team benefits from an ultra-talented crop of underclassmen ready to rewrite the history books. Not to mention a group of seniors and juniors who have worked the past three seasons for their chance at the Friday night spotlight.
“When you have a lot of inexperienced players as far as being the guy, it’s going to be really important they understand what momentum really looks like,” first-year defensive coordinator Waleed Gaines said.
“As soon as they realize how momentum really works and that they are the dudes, this team will be even more special than we ever thought. And we have high expectations.”
Follow the links below for a look at this year’s Mustang Broncos.