NPH CIS Team Previews: Western Mustangs
The Mustangs made the playoffs a season ago, but they’re hungry and eager for more this year.
Head coach: Brad Campbell
Record in 2014: 12-8 (Second in OUA West division)
Playoffs: OUA preliminary round
Points scored per game: 74.2
Points allowed per game: 72.6
Key players: Greg Morrow, Tom Filgiano, Peter Scholtes, Anthony Spiridis
Key losses: Quinn Henderson, Stevan Manojlovic, George Johnson
The Western Mustangs play in the new OUA West along with traditional Western teams like Waterloo, Windsor and Wilfrid Laurier, three natural rivals. This season’s schedule, says head coach Brad Campbell, will offer a reprieve on travel, that wasn’t there a year ago. The Mustangs host games against Nipissing, Laurentian and Lakehead in February, saving on the Air Miles and the traveling hours. “We get the benefit of having them all at home,” Campbell tells NPH. If Western hopes to reach its season goals, it’ll have to do better than last season’s 5-5 record at Alumni Hall.
Key games: at Windsor, Nov. 13; VS Windsor, Feb. 20
at McMaster Marauders, Jan. 23
On the day that he speaks with NPH, Mustangs head coach Brad Campbell has received good news: Eric McDonald, a transfer from Guelph, has just been cleared to play. It’s a balm on what has been a difficult preseason for Campbell’s team, which is battling injuries: Cameron Morris, notably, will miss the season with an ACL tear. In quite the imagery, Campbell says that, “We’re a little paper mache’d up right now.”
McDonald will join what is quite a good Western core with possible All-Canadian Greg Morrow and Anthony Spiridis, who last season “really came into his own” per his head coach. Campbell says that, “We’re veteran with our starting group and a little young with our bench.”
It’s a group that’s well set up for both the present and the future. And in the present, Campbell wants his team to ride a great defense and low scores to the playoffs. “(Our veterans) want to make a push for the OUA Final Four,” he says. “Playoffs aren’t enough for our team, we want to go deeper.”