After dropping a heartbreaker in the championship game of the NAIA playoffs last season the Morningside football team hopes to take the final step this season. The Mustangs are top ranked as they get ready for Saturday’s season opener against Valley City State.

Morningside coach Steve Ryan say there seems to be a high level of confidence that they can get back to the championship and finish it off better than they did last year. Ryan does not mind if the goal of the players is to win it all.

“There’s always a danger with too high a goals, but there’s nothing wrong for young people to set very high goals and to strive for them. The danger with high goals is when you lose focus of doing and accomplishing the things you have to do on a day-to-day basis to reach those goals,” Ryan says.

Ryan says the Mustangs need to realize it is a long and tough road and he says they’ve had to keep the players looking at the things they do each day and remind them the games aren’t guaranteed.

There are a number of experienced players back, especially on offense. They lose quarterback Joel Nixon, which Ryan says is a big loss from the leadership standpoint.