Aim­ing to hit their stride Satur­day, West­ern Mus­tangs tak­ing noth­ing for granted in game against Lancers.

The London Free Press - - FRONT PAGE - MOR­RIS DALLA COSTA First-round video at lf­press.com com

The West­ern Mus­tangs haven’t paid much at­ten­tion to the Wind­sor Lancers.

It isn’t a sign of dis­re­spect, but the foot­ball Mus­tangs found an­other team they wanted to fo­cus on — them­selves.

The Mus­tangs play the Lancers in Wind­sor on Satur­day. The Mus­tangs are 3-0, while the Lancers are 0-3.

It’s been a hor­ren­dous start for the Lancers. They’ve been outscored 154-55. They lost big to Water­loo, 54-33, and even big­ger to Guelph, 81-10.

Their 19-12 loss to Toronto was strange. The game ended with more than half the fourth quar­ter still to play be­cause a light­ning storm pushed the game past cur­few in Toronto.

De­spite the ob­vi­ous dis­par­ity in the qual­ity of the teams, the Mus­tangs in­sist they still con­sider the Lancers to be a qual­ity op­po­nent. The Mus­tangs just feel their own in­con­sis­tent play is a sign they need to fo­cus on get­ting bet­ter as a team.

“Our em­pha­sis has been about us get­ting bet­ter fun­da­men­tally, get­ting bet­ter at the things we do, won­dered if the na­tional Open was go­ing to fi­nally have an­other Cana­dian cham­pion.

Du Toit also was in this year’s Cana­dian Open, but didn’t make the cut.

The ex­pe­ri­ence of play­ing un­der that mi­cro­scope over four rounds proved in­valu­able for him.

“The big­gest thing for me at the Open was learn­ing and kind of re­al­iz­ing that I can com­pete with the best,” du Toit said. “There’s plenty of re­ally solid guys out here, and the things we will do against any team we play against, the base stuff we do. We’ve got to get bet­ter at it,” Mus­tangs of­fen­sive co-or­di­na­tor Steve Sny­der said.

“We need to clean up some of the lit­tle things like the bad snaps, the er­rant throws, poor de­ci­sions and things like that — just clean up the basics. Right now re­gard­less of who we’re play­ing, that’s the most im­por­tant thing we’re do­ing is to make sure we have our stuff han­dled play­ing well last year I kind of re­al­ized I could prob­a­bly play with these boys. There was a sense of com­fort in that.”

Ev­ery­one talks about the tal­ent on the Macken­zie Tour but the proof is in the re­sults. In the field are four play­ers who have fin­ished at one time or an­other in the Top 10 of a PGA event—du Toit, Niebrugge, Lee McCoy and Robby Shel­ton.

The course yielded some low scores in dry, windy con­di­tions. Most scored well on the front nine but the back — es­pe­cially 14, 15 and 16 — proved dif­fi­cult. and not get too wor­ried about the op­po­nent.”

The op­por­tu­nity to get bet­ter as a team couldn’t have come at a bet­ter time.

The Mus­tangs have man­aged to go 3-0 de­spite pe­ri­ods of disjointed play. The one as­pect that’s cause for cel­e­bra­tion is the team’s abil­ity to re­spond to dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tions in two of their three games and come away with a vic­tory.

Great Cana­dian Race Week­end

Fri­day: Race of Cham­pi­ons mod­i­fied se­ries (qual­i­fy­ing, heats and 75-lap fea­ture), su­per stocks, trucks, V-8 stocks, bone stocks, King of the Hill. Rac­ing starts at 7:30 p.m. Satur­day: APC United Late Model Se­ries fi­nale (qual­i­fy­ing and 100-lap cham­pi­onship race), su­per stocks, trucks, V-8 stocks, bone stocks; spec­ta­tor gates open at noon; event be­gins at 3 p.m.

More info: www.delaware­speed­way.

DEREK RUTTAN/THE LON­DON FREE PRESS

Jared du Toit of Kim­berely, B.C., tees off the 18th hole at High­land Coun­try Club dur­ing the first round of the Free­dom 55 Fi­nan­cial Cham­pi­onship in Lon­don on Thurs­day. He fin­ished the day in the lead at nine un­der par.

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