MORROW — It’s been almost 20 years since the Morrow High Mustangs have qualified for the state football playoffs.
The Mustangs have won just 11 games in the last 16 seasons. Morrow still is the only school in the county to win a state championship in football, but 1987 gets further and further in the rear-view mirror each season.
But heading into the 2017 season, there is a renewed sense of optimism surrounding the program. In his second season on campus, Jerome Weaks is beginning to see his team bloom into the vision of what he wants the program to be.
Early returns echo Weaks’ sentiment. The Mustangs won their spring game over Woodland-Cartersville and have impressed at team camps at the University of Georgia, Auburn University and Clemson University.
A 1-9 record in 2016 appears to be a distant memory for the Mustangs, who fielded a young team last season.
“Last year there were a lot of inconsistencies. More towards the end of the year, we got a lot more consistent and had a lot more fight,” Weaks said. “We’re still in the process of teaching guys the process of winning. Right now we’re in that phase. We’re working hard…I see a lot more focus in the guys. They’re taking the ownership of really trying to be good and meet our expectations of meeting our motto of ‘being legendary.’”
A handful of guys have taken the leadership reins this summer, none more prominent than returning quarterback Kristopher Clark.
Other standouts this summer include defensive back Jamal Hill, who earned his first offer from Florida Atlantic this spring, defensive back Brandon Mercer and lineman Hiram James.
“It’s a total mind-shift and attitude shift with these guys,” Weaks said. “You probably can hear it in my voice — I’m biting at the bit so we can get out there and compete.”
As positive vibes flow throughout the program, the fact remains that Morrow went 0-6 in Region 3-AAAAA play last season. But with significant improvement after one year under Weaks, the Mustangs have big plans for the upcoming campaign.
“In all honesty we’re trying to get one of those four spots for the playoffs,” Weaks said. “I think we’re definitely close and depending on how the rest of this summer goes, I definitely think that’s a realistic goal for us this year. We’re definitely going to be a lot better. Five-hundred would be OK, but definitely our goal is to make one of those four goals for the playoffs.”