The 2022-23 school year has officially begun, and so has fall sports as soccer and volleyball returned to the field and field.
Things couldn’t have gone better for the Mustangs’ first time in new territory, beating Des Moines North decidedly 41-0 in a showcase for some potential playmakers.
Making his first start, Ty Mikkelsen lit up the Polar Bear defense for 206 yards and four touchdowns while completing 10 of 14 passes. While North’s defense hasn’t been all that inspiring in recent years, last year’s team only allowed one QB to throw more than 150 in a single game. That should be an encouraging sign for the Mustangs’ new gunslinger.
It also moved the spotlight on the field, getting touchdowns for Zach Smid, Ben Brushaber, Hudson Ehlert and Trevor Hamil. Of this group, Smid showed he could single-handedly propel the offense after taking a short 71-yard pass for a score. It was just a few plays after his punt return touchdown was called off on a block at the back.
Running back Eli Carpenter was also integrated into the passing game, hauling three balls for 64 yards in addition to his 63 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries. His replacement Landon Morton also saw good looks in the backfield, carrying the ball 53 yards on five carries.
The Mustangs kicked off their 2022 season with an early tournament* Tuesday at home where they beat Southeast Polk (2-1 score) upfront but fell to Ankeny Centennial (0-2), Ankeny (1-2) and Catholic Dowling (1-2).
Overall, it was almost exactly the same result of last year’s Mustang Classic which saw DCG start the season 1-3. That star was followed by the team finishing 16-22 and a seventh-place finish in conference in the Little Hawkeye where they went 2-6.
It was a bit of a boost after a 2020 conference title and seven consecutive winning seasons for the program. But all things considered last season with the loss of five starters, the Mustangs may have exceeded expectations.
Now the Mustangs are entering a new era under first-year head coach Meg Jackson looking to right the ship.
She’ll have help from a few key playmakers who’ve grown in recent seasons, including Jillian Janssen, a three-year-old starter who last year turned into one of the team’s best hitters after being a player. of preparation who led the team. in assists in 2020. Last year, she finished third on the team with 155 kills, behind only Haily Leinbach’s 198 for this year’s team. Janssen is also the team leader with 263 recoveries from last year.
Seeking to help Janssen spread so thin is another household name for Addy Janssen who totaled 183 digs as a sophomore. She is also the top returning waitress along with fellow incoming junior Macee Reiling. Both had over 30 aces and a service rate of over 94%.
*Stats and results will be void if the Des Moines Hoover team does not play this year.
**Individual statistics were not available at the time of writing.