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Gridiron Preview: Unity-Payson

Third year head coach Connor McLaughlin and the Unity-Payson Mustangs never have an easy go of it in the WIVC with yearly match ups against Camp Point Central, Triopia, Beardstown and on down the list, but the Mustangs are veteran heavy team coming into 2019 that will have every chance to compete with that stiff competition.

In Mendon Tuesday night, the Unity/Payson mustangs were hard at work, after a 3-6 season capped off by two consecutive wins catapult them into the off season with some momentum.

The young team had a rough start to 2018 going 0 and 4 for the first 4 games, but the mustangs kicked it into high gear for a 3 and 2 second half.

The mustangs bring back 12 starters this season and a number of other players with valuable experience.

Coach McLaughlin knows his team has what it takes to go far this season, but he has especially high hopes for two key seniors.

McLaughlin said, “Seniors like TJ Miller and Chris Ulrich that are helping anchor the line.

You know, those guys are the ones that you’ll probably hear the most about and they’re probably the most important pieces.

They’re the ones. They’re the glue to all of this, and if they’re playing well, the rest of the guys kind of feed off of them.”

Half of that combo is co-captain, senior tj miller, who knows the team knows the team has more upside than they showed in 2018, and is determined to prove it in 2019.

Senior TJ Miller added that, “We really wanna hold the team accountable and really wanna hold people to a higher standard then hopefully they’ll feed off of us and can really play to their potential.

We really wanna do well in the WIVC North and make it back to the playoffs.

We all really have the mental toughness that we needed last year.”

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David Sugarman

David Sugarman is the Weekend Sports Anchor & Reporter at WGEM News.

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