“I’d like to be scoring five TDs a game, and running up and down the field,” he said. “If we do that, the kids will buy into that quickly.”
Mushtare said six sophomores — Skylar Thompson, Sam Sherrill, Noah Sheehan, Matt Bitzer, Austin Scheer and Dalton Ormsby — will provide a solid core for the 2013 season. All of them played varsity football last season.
As for the challenge that all OHS football coaches have faced — competing for talent with a perennial strong soccer program — Mushtare said: “Fortunately, looking down the line here, we have a tremendous amount of athletes that will fulfill the needs of both programs.”
Mushtare added that the low numbers OHS dealt with this past season — the Yellowjackets started 2012 with 21 players — should not be a problem in the coming seasons.
“We’d like to be in the high 20s to low 30s,” Mushtare said of his probable roster size. “The participation level 10th grade and down is excellent.”
As for his coaching staff, Mushtare said he’s in the process of putting one together but mentioned no names.
The summer following Mushtare’s final season heading the Spartans, Unatego’s school board voted not to bring Mushtare back. That decision came July 18, 2007. The school board declined to give a reason for Mushtare’s dismissal.
Mushtare had no comment on the end of his run at Unatego. A few weeks later, he was hired at Oneonta.
“He’s one of the most respected teachers in the district,” Hughes said of Mushtare, who is also the Yellowjackets’ junior varsity baseball coach. “He’s a quality teacher and a quality human being. Kids who play for him like and respect him. I have no reservations of his ability to lead young men and women as a teacher and a coach.”
Rob Centorani can be reached at email@example.com or 607-432-1000, ext. 209.