Photo credit: Jackson Olin Mustangs
The Jackson Olin High School football team hasn’t made the playoffs since 1999, but the Mustangs are hoping to turn things around this season.
Currently holding a record of 3-3, the Mustangs are only two wins away from exceeding last season’s win column. However, anything less than making it to the playoffs and competing for a championship is a letdown for J.O.
Offensive Line Coach Terrence Swift believes this year will be a breakthrough season for the team.
“The program has evolved over the years and the offensive line is improving week by week. I’m proud of the guys for working hard and I believe we’re ready to take things to the next level and make it to the playoffs,” Swift says.
J.O. has seen strides of improvement since head coach Tim Vakakes took over three years ago. In his first season, the Mustangs finished 1-9 and last year the squad finished 4-6. He previously served as the offensive coordinator at Fairfield High Preparatory School, where he also coached Swift. In his second season with the Mustangs, Swift is now applying what he learned as a player to his offensive line.
Coming off a 41-7 victory against John Carroll Catholic, the Mustangs are now ranked No. 3 in Class 6A Region 5. But, the journey isn’t getting any easier as J.O. faces the Hueytown Golden Gophers on the road tonight in another big region game.
“We rushed for over 300 yards last week. That’s the most we’ve ever had since I’ve been here. If we play our game, we control our own destiny. The main thing is limiting turnovers, because when we don’t turn the ball over we win games,” Swift says.
Seniors DeAndre Powell and Angelo “Robo” Brown were a major part of the offensive attack against John Carroll. Wide Receiver Powell had two touchdown receptions, while Brown rushed for three touchdowns and nearly 140 yards.
The Mustangs will need more of those big plays from their senior leaders in tonight’s matchup against the Golden Gophers. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.