The Iola Mustang Football team has not recorded a winning season since 2013. However, the Mustangs have plenty of physical presence up front and talent at skills positions to snap the sub .500 streak.
“I would say (our strength this season) is having plenty of skill kids with great athleticism. Kids that can make plays on both sides of the ball” said 4th year Iola head coach David Daugharthy.
“I would also say we have more depth than any year I’ve coached. We have a plethora of kids to pick from in multiple sports, which will make for some interesting position battles.”
Iola’s key to success begins upfront on the offensive and defensive line, especially with lineman Logan Brown.
The 6′ 260 lbs. senior captured the Class 4A State Wrestling championship last year in 285 lbs. Weight class. He is Iola’s first-ever state wrestling champion.
Brown was named 1st Team All-Pioneer League and Honorable Mention All-State Defensive Lineman.
Brown has received an offer to play at Hutchison Community College and will be a steal for a college football program with this SEK area student-athlete.
Joining Brown on the offensive line will be seniors Gage Turner, 5’10” 240 lbs., Aidan Jones, 5’9″ 190 lbs., and junior Tyler Boeken, 6’2″ 185 lbs.
Unlike Brown, Jones and Boeken will fill in at linebacker on the Mustang defense.
Another strong defensive presence on the field this year for the Iola Football team is Isaac Badders.
The 5’9″ 170 lbs. senior returns from a season being named 2nd Team Pioneer League Safety with 99 tackles and 3 interceptions.
Badders doubles on offense as a tailback. In his junior year, he recorded 100 carries for 557 yards and four touchdowns.
Junior Trent Jones, injured in week 3 of the 2019 season, returns to help Badders in the backfield.
Also returning from injury is quarterback Bradyn Cole.
“We lost Cole in the first half of the season opener last season. Because of what Bradyn brought to our offense, we had a difficult time replacing his skill set,” said Daugharthy.
Cole will have tall targets in 6’2″ senior Austin Rowe and 6′ senior Drake Sellman.
Sellman hauled in 16 receptions for 236 yards and three touchdowns.
In addition to returning players, the Iola coaching staff made changes in the offseason.
“We have replaced two coaches, so adapting to new coaches will be a big change,” said the Iola football head coach.
“However, the biggest change will be the change in offensive and defensive schemes.
Iola will run its offense in the Spread this season while the defense will attack in a 3-3 base.
Last year’s offense averaged only 18 points per game while giving up 31 points per game.
Iola finds themselves mixed in with an equally talented and physical district.
Pioneer League members Anderson County, Burlington, and Prairie View join the Mustangs in battling for a top 4 spot to advance to the 3A playoffs.
CNC League members Frontenac and Girard round out the final spots in the competitive district.
The Iola Mustang football team begins the season against Pioneer League rival Osawatomie on Friday, September 4th, in Iola.