s football team doesn’t have much to improve after last year’s perfect regular season record of 9-0. This year, the Pioneers plan to take each game one at a time with no pressures and all the confidence.
An experienced roster, which is s junior-senior heavy, leaves only high hopes for head coach Dave Mifsud. And with their first two wins already under their belt–, and against rivals Redford Thurston on Thursday night–things are looking up.
“When people ask me what the goals are I would say that the kids on the team and I have the goal that we want to be as good as or better than last year,” Mifsud said. “And when you say, ‘Well you were 9-0 in the regular season and you want to be better than last year,’ that’s kind of making a pretty big statement.”
The Pioneers try to keep a well-balanced, spread offense strategy. Mifsud said the strength of his team lies on his experienced and skilled players to be able to run and catch the ball. However, the coach said it is crucial for his team to stay healthy due to lack of depth, which can lead to younger, inexperienced players stepping up to tougher positions.
“We try not to have individual superstars,” Mifsud said. “There’s a bunch of guys that I have individual hopes for, but it’s more important that we gel as a team and we’re succeeding as a team.”
Among the players Mifsud mentioned was senior Toufic Sareini. Sareini was named to the All-City team for Dearborn football last year. The linebacker had 58 tackles and said he hopes that in his final year he can earn a spot on the All-State list.
Last season, the Pioneers took an early exit in the first round of the playoffs to cross-town rivals (37-32) and sported a 9-1 overall record.
“We just need to finish,” Sareini said. “We started off 9-0 and just had a bad game and the whole season came to an end.”
This year, despite the due to its late-night practices and upcoming movie , the Pioneers see no added pressures come rivalry game time on Sept. 23.
“We try to take it as a regular game,” Sareini said. “But it’s just pride and a lot that goes with it … bragging rights, basically.”
Sareini also made note that he and most of his teammates will not watch the Fordson film when it . Dearborn High will host the game against Fordson, and just like every year, it’s a game to look forward to for the players and the community, according to Mifsud.
“Fordson is the fifth week of the season and I know that the school communities and the entire community get excited about that one,” Mifsud said. “But really, our theory is to just go one game at a time.”
Dearborn High faces off next against Romulus High School at home on Sept. 9 at 7 p.m.