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After a tough loss on a night with challenging weather, Coach Jake Mueller expressed frustration with the situation. “I love our team, but I was disappointed with how we handled it. I felt like we just didn’t handle the adversity the way I would like to have. . . Yes, the conditions [were] a factor, but Linn-Mar didn’t let the conditions bother them as much as we did.”
That said, Mueller has high hopes for tomorrow’s game, even with the prospect of facing the perennially strong Iowa City West Trojans. Mueller explained that the Trojans, “made it to the state championship game the last two seasons. It’s a program that’s had a lot of success and is having a lot of success this year.” He also acknowledges West’s strengths both offensively and defensively. He said they have, “a tough defense. They’ve got a lot of [big] guys, and they’re tough, and they’re fast, and they’re physical. . . Offensively, they’ve got a good young quarterback . . . and, they’ve got some receivers who are really good.” Even so, he feels confident that the Muskies have what it takes to take them down. “We had a really good week of practice, and we’re looking forward to the challenge. There’s no question that it’s going to be a challenge, but it’s one that I feel good about. We’ll be ready to go and compete tomorrow night. If we play well, we can have some success tomorrow. . . . We still feel like we have a lot to play for. We expect to go and get a win.”
In addition to excitement about tomorrow night’s football game, Mueller, along with Associate Superintendent Mike McGrory and retired Athletic Director Chuck Van Hecke, celebrated the fact that the new Chuck Van Heck Athletic Center will officially open this Saturday. McGrory shared that the choice to name the building after Van Hecke proved a simple one. “When we were looking at individuals we wanted to recognize and dedicate the building to, it was an easy choice. With everything Chuck’s done for our community, everything he’s done at the state level, and national level, we really felt like this [decision] was a no-brainer, and a way to honor Chuck and show our appreciation for what he’s done for our district.”
Mueller outlined the plans for the new facility. “There’s two basketball gyms that are in there [and] a really big weight room and workout facility for training student athletes and PE classes.” He also explained why Muscatine High School truly needs the new facility. “There’s a class in our current weight room every period of the day currently. I’m pretty confident saying there’s not another classroom in the school district that has close to 350 kids in it in a day. To have a new facility like we’re going to have, a high-end facility, [will give students] a sense of pride [and] will hopefully enhance their workouts and give a sense of excitement to getting better every day.”
McGrory feels confident that the Chuck Van Hecke Athletic Center’s basketball gyms will open to students shortly after its grand opening on Saturday from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm, and that the weight room and workout facility will open before the end of .November. With this exciting news, Muscatine High School’s football team, as well as its other student athletes, have a lot to look forward to in their seasons ahead.

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