End of an era

End of an era

End of an era

They’re going for the gold. Dave McLean and Lane Condie hope to crown their coaching years with a triumph – the Pershing County football team’s ninth state championship in school history.

Condie and McLean will celebrate or commiserate with their team one last time this Saturday. They’ll face rival school Battle Mountain at Lowry High School at 1 p.m.

The duo retires from coaching at the close of the 2017 season. It’s been quite a ride.

They’ve coached the team to 134 wins, 29 losses, eight league championships, five state championships and two runner-up state titles.

Head coach McLean shared his philosophy.

“We have never set out with the idea of trying to win a state championship,” he said. “We’re just about trying to win the next game. We treat every game as if it’s a state championship game – especially as far as preparation is concerned.”

Defensive coordinator Lance Condie believes in keeping the defense simple, added McLean.

“That way the kids play faster and more physically,” he said. “It’s a flexible defense that allows us to adjust to anything.”

McLean spoke about several factors in the Mustangs' success.

“Getting kids to buy into the offseason weight program was huge for us,” he said. “When you have kids working out all year round not only are they becoming better athletes and getting stronger — but there’s an investment in the program.”

McLean also credits the community as a force in pushing the Mustangs to the top of the Northern 2A pack.

“I would like to say a big thank you to all of the people who’ve supported the program over the years,” he said. “That includes the best assistant coaches in the state: Craig Tippens, Dan Murphy, Jared Jensen, Lance Condie and Buzz and Mike Brooks.”

“And great big thanks to the best wife in the world, Valdine McLean,” he concluded. “She’s done more for this program than anyone will ever know.”