It’s a win-win situation. Varsity athletes #sharethewell by teaching, coaching, and guiding their Lower School counterparts in both football and cheer.
Mustangs in Training is a new program at Mount Vernon, introduced just this fall. This athletic initiative is a way to introduce students in grades 1-4 to a variety of sports, respective to each season (fall, winter, spring). For an hour and a half on six Saturdays this season, varsity athletes and Lower School students will take over the Mustang football field as they practice before each game. With official uniforms on their way for both football players and cheerleaders, our littlest Mustangs played several games during the fall.
Athletic Director Brad Dehem initiated the Mustangs in Training program after realizing success in a similar endeavor at his previous school in Columbus, Georgia. Coach Dehem shares the following, just after the very first Mustangs in Training ‘workout’:
“I was heavily involved in running all the aspects of both football and cheer. Using varsity players and varsity cheerleaders as coaches was a last minute decision, and it turned out to be a great move. Seeing the interaction between the Upper and Lower School students sealed the deal that it was going to be an impactful program beyond just football and cheer. After just one practice at MV, I can already see that it will be successful.”
“The goals of the program are to expose our Lower School students to the game of football, connect our student body as well as parent community, and #havefun!”
“Assistant Athletic Directors Dusty Bennett and Scott Cain did a fantastic job managing registration, facilitating setup and directing the program on-site. We want everything that we do in the athletic department to be a five-star experience. I am proud of what our families experienced at the first practice and how contagious the excitement was from everyone.”
“The athletes loved it! I saw them having fun with the kids and they really wanted to start playing. I overheard them talking about Saturday morning’s session during their varsity football practice yesterday. Fantastic stuff!”
“One parent in particular mentioned that their son had never really shown an interest in athletics and they really had to work hard to get him to want to play in this league. After Saturday, he came home and said that his favorite positions were receiver and linebacker. Another parent mentioned how excited her daughter was about being around the varsity cheerleaders and couldn’t wait to cheer for the games.”
“My favorite comment was “You guys are going to put the church flag football leagues to shame!” Again, we just want it to be a first-class experience for our families, so that is an encouraging comment.”
“From the sideline, I heard a mother say how much she enjoyed being on the sideline with other parents and being able to interact socially within our MV community.”