In the Berks County football scene three teams typically stand out above all others. They include Berks Catholic, a 4A team, and Wilson and Governor Mifflin, both 5A teams. This year Governor Mifflin and Berks Catholic are really having special seasons. Mifflin has once again won the league and finished the regular season with a 9-1 regular season record and moving on to the next round of district playoffs after absolutely annihilating York 56-7 in the first round. Another marker that Mifflin’s football program hit this year was defeating their cross town rivals the Wilson Bulldogs for the first time in 6 years. There has to be a key to the success Mifflin has had over the years and this year in particular.
When looking at the world of sports there are several kinds of teams championship teams, the average joes, and then there’s teams that can barely call themselves a team. A major determining factor of whether a team will be good or not starts with the leadership within the team. I recently got to speak with Governor Mifflin’s assistant Football coach Nicholas Morrissey to discuss some of the keys to their success. As expected from a winning team, Morrissey stated “The key to our success is great senior leadership. The seniors have been great leaders and have set expectations in practice and in the offseason”. Mifflin clearly has some great leaders as shown through their current success.
In addition to having good leaders, a team needs to first get and then maintain a winning culture. In the past years up until this day, everyone expects Governor Mifflin to be a top tier football team. How exactly is such a winning attitude achieved and maintained? Well once again Coach Morrissey says “ Coach Vecchio [Mifflin’s Head Coach] has built a program based on work, family, extremely high expectations, and no one person being ahead of the team. The kids have made sure that this culture stays in place year in and year out”. This is one thing that clearly sets Mifflin apart from other teams and that is the culture made first by the coaching staff and the way the players embrace and spread the winning culture. To wrap up the interview with Mr. Morrissey I asked the simple question of “ What is the most important part of your team?”.
“Our kids are by far the most important. They work so hard in the offseason, are extremely coachable, and trust the coaching staff”. As seen, the players are the biggest part of the team’s success. Their hard work and dedication has clearly paid off this season. They all embrace the winning culture and high standards set by the coaching staff and work hard in the offseason to achieve these goals and expectations.
All of this hard work has really paid off for the Mustangs this year and hopefully their success will continue as they head further into the District playoffs and hopefully a State playoff run as well.