The early days of a varsity program are usually a struggle and the same can be said for MOT Charter, which won just two games in their inaugural varsity season a year ago.

However, entering a new season, MOT Charter has something every team has before the season’s first tip-off – optimism.

In the Mustangs’ case, emphasis may not be on wins and losses this season, rather it may be focused on seeing a tangible improvement and some growth.

MOT Charter has the luxury of having four returning players, something that isn’t always guaranteed for a newer varsity program. Back this season are seniors Thierno Diallo, Joseph Frushon and Maurice Ouma, along with sophomore Mark Gee. The Mustangs also have several players making the jump from the JV squad, like juniors Bryson Cunningham and Devin Momanyi with sophomore William Rhem.

Even with the changes that come with bringing in a new head coach, it’s full steam ahead for the budding program.

“As a new head coach in a varsity program that is only a year old, I’m extremely excited to build a strong basketball culture at MOT,” said Head Coach Josh Schneider. “Over the next couple of weeks we will really be focusing on growing in our offense and competing every day in practice to push our teammates by practicing at game speed.”

When MOT opens their season at home against Tri-State Christian Academy on Tuesday, Dec. 4, Schneider knows what kind of team he wants to see take the court, calling it a “Mustang mentality.”

“I want to put guys on the floor that make the correct decisions on and off the court,” Schneider said. “I want my guys to play team basketball, make the extra pass, be the first on the floor for a loose ball. I want my guys to compete in everything they do.”

This season is a fresh start and an opportunity to make steps toward becoming a viable threat in the future.

So far, Schneider and his team seem to be heading in the right direction.

“From what I see in practice so far, I believe we’re pretty deep,” Schneider said. “I will feel confident with any of our 10 varsity guys on the court in any combination.”