By Jason Orts / Las Vegas Review-Journal
When The Meadows gave out its team awards in June for the spring football season, coach Jack Concannon used it as an opportunity to bring last year’s and this year’s team together.
He also brought in a taco truck. While it was a nice reward for the players who won the Class 2A Southern League title during the spring, Concannon had a larger message behind it.
Enjoy the tacos, but, “Now, we get to play for the whole enchilada,” Concannon said. “It’s going to be a little different. It’s going to be 12 weeks instead of five. But we won a championship, and nobody in the world can take that away from us.” The Mustangs finished 4-1, including 4-0 in league play, a year after playing as an independent eight-man team.
The Meadows has plenty of reasons to believe it can build upon its success from the spring. Its roster was full of underclassmen who gained valuable experience, especially in close wins over Calvary Chapel (21-20) and Lincoln County (47-40).
But the Mustangs know it won’t be easy.
Needles, which reached the 2019 state semifinals, didn’t play last season. Lincoln County went to the state championship game in 2019, and it probably will have more players available for a full season than it did during the spring.
One player the Mustangs will need to replace is quarterback Mick Corrigan. They will turn to junior Sean Gosse, the younger brother of Garrett Gosse, who holds Class 2A records for most passing yards (7,434) and touchdown passes (93) and went on to play at Princeton.
Concannon said he never saw Garrett Gosse play, but he’s been told Sean is ahead of his brother’s progress at the same age.
That bodes well for the Mustangs, especially since he will have the luxury of throwing to junior Ryan Hannig, who caught 40 passes for 700 yards and 10 touchdowns in the spring.
But how far The Meadows go probably will come down to how well it plays defense. Getting the Mustangs’ players to see playing defense as a privilege and not a punishment has been a difficult sell for Concannon at times, but the defense dominated in a 33-6 win over White Pine that clinched the 2A Southern League crown.
“The fact that we’re going to go through this with a bullseye on us is part of the challenge,” Concannon said. “We’ve got to go out and be even better this year because we’re not sneaking up on anybody.”
Class 2A football predictions
Here are the Review-Journal’s predictions for how the Class 2A Southern League will finish:
1. The Meadows
2. Lincoln County
4. White Pine
5. Calvary Chapel
6. Democracy Prep
8. Lake Mead
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