Those five words have probably been heard too many times to count by the Ola Mustangs since last season ended and training camp began near the close of July.
Of course, turnovers are going to happen in football, but when they are converted into points immediately on numerous occasions, there is a problem and the Mustangs suffered those consequences.
“We gave up nine offensive touchdowns on eight fumbles that were scooped and returned and one interception that was run back,” Ola coach John Kovzel said. “As a staff, you look at that and realize nine times seven is 63 points. It’s hard to defend that. Things could’ve been a lot different.”
As a result of their miscues, the Mustangs earned just a 3-7 record overall but a 2-3 mark in sub-region 4A-AAAAA.
“We definitely have to cut the turnovers,” said Kovzel, who is entering his sixth season at the position. “That was our Achilles’ heel last year. We turned the ball over way too much so I’m really trying to hit home with that.”
Kovzel also believes proper focus can help resolve his team’s turnover issues.
“We have to take care of our own business and not worry about what everybody else is doing,” Kovzel said.
Back from the offense, which struggled with ball security, are four starters, and on the defensive side of the ball Kovzel and staff have seven players returning.
“Just like everybody else we’re going to be young in some areas and experienced in others,” Kovzel said.
Kovzel expects the defense to be led by Connor Schlottman, Will Smith, Cole Bailey, Aaron Thomas and Tyler Pippins, and for the offense to be led by Tyler Jenkins, Tyler Wesson, Andrew Johnson and Barry Falls.
Ola opens the 2013 season at Eagle’s Landing, which it defeated 38-30 in 2012.