For years, the Bishop Brossart football team lived a nomadic existence in search of turf to defend. The Mustangs were known as the team without a home. Today, they have two new homes.
“I’m excited,” coach Paul Wiggins said. “I think the players are really excited about it, too.”
The Mustangs spent the summer preparing for a season unlike any other. For the first time in the program’s nine years, they have a field to call their own with home games at Campbell County Middle School. The stadium became available when its former host, the Campbell County High School football team, moved into its new on-campus facility in 2014.
Bishop Brossart home football games will now be played less than a mile from school. The Mustangs traveled 11 miles to last season’s home games at Scott. Previously, they played in Newport, 13 miles away.
“We’ve played everywhere, and it always felt like a road game, so it’s going to be great,” said Mustangs senior Frank Cetrulo. “Last year, playing our home games at Scott, we didn’t have much of a student section. This year, playing at a stadium near the school that we can walk to, it’s going to be a whole new atmosphere.”
The change to a bona fide home venue is well-timed. Bishop Brossart has moved back to Class A following a stay in Class 2A, giving the team a chance to compete against schools its own size during district play.
The Mustangs returned to the small-school class following realignment. Their new home is in the reconfigured District 5. They join Berea, Bracken County, Nicholas County and Paris, downstate schools averaging about an hour’s drive from Alexandria.
Berea, 4-7 last season, is the lone district holdover. Nicholas County finished 2-9 in District 7. Bracken County was 0-11, and preseason favorite Paris was 9-3 in District 3.
The Mustangs were 0-16 in district play during their time in Class 2A, 1-8 overall last year, so the change is welcomed. The Mustangs also play local Class A opponents Bellevue, Dayton and Ludlow from District 4.
Wiggins, a second-year head coach in his seventh season with the program, sees the changes coincide with greater student participation. Numbers are up to the point that the Mustangs can field a scout team during practice.
Brossart’s hopes center around an experienced backfield featuring Cetrulo and fellow senior Logan Schoulthies. Last year, they combined for 970 yards rushing and receiving. Cetrulo was the leading ground gainer with 519 yards. He plays safety on defense. He’s also the place kicker and kick returner.
“We hope to be able to run the ball, with a few different players,” Wiggins said. “We want our passing game to complement our running game behind Cetrulo and Schoulthies. On defense, we have play makers on the line, at linebacker and safety.”
There is a new quarterback and a new set of receivers, so some growing pains are expected on offense, where the Mustangs have six new starters. Top senior defensive returnees include linebacker Griffen Goepper, safety Craig Pfefferman and two-way lineman Paul Williams.