What has been Mansfield’s secret to such consistent success in the past decade?
Well, there are a lot of considerations to go through before nailing down one deciding factor.
A lot can be said about the drastic change that overtook the Mansfield Football program in 1992. As this is Mansfield head coach Mike Redding’s 20th year as the head coach, a Super Bowl win on the anniversary of their first title would be quite an achievement.
But what are some of the factors that help make that success possible as they move ahead to face Reading on Saturday?
“The enrollment in the school has changed drastically,” said Redding’s father David Redding. “The enrollment has doubled since Mike took over. He put in a new system; he got the kids believing in themselves working in the weight room and I believe that had a lot do with the change in play. Not that that had anything to do with the coaches that came before him, but he just got here at the right time.”
Dave Redding went on to say that it was the example of the first title, showing people that Mansfield could do it that inspired the next group of kids to try their hardest for a tangible victory.
“He had a really great group of kids and because of that the kids coming along saw what could happen and were willing to put the time and effort in getting prepared to playing Mansfield,” he said. “I think that had a lot to do with the change in the program at that time.”
Mansfield High School director of athletics Joe Russo said that he’s been with the team a long time and thinks that this year has been quite a time for all aspects of Mansfield’s game.
“I’ve been around Mansfield football since the Fall of 86’,” Russo said. “I think they’ve got a very good shot this Saturday,”
While Russo agreed that coach Redding does a great job coaching the team, he said he feels the individual work that the assistant coaches do with players is equally important. He said it builds depth within the team and they have fully well rounded team.
“The assistant coaches spend an incredible amount of time during practice going through skills,” he said. “We probably do 60 to 70 percent of practices doing individual skills. They treat the third and fourth running backs like the first and second and that’s why I think the program has sustained itself this past decade. The skills that are taught by the assistant coaches and the game plan that’s put in by coach Redding are the keys to our success.”
Mansfield superintendent Brenda Hodges said that, while there will always be detractors to every challenge the Hornets face, they usually end up being wrong in the end.
“They kept saying ‘Oh Duxbury hasn’t lost in 37 games, Mansfield still can’t do it’,” she said. “They’re going to do it again on Saturday.”