The Mountain House Junior Mustangs opened their football and cheer season with practices Monday at Questa School.

The program will see some changes in its eighth year, including a new president, Shelly Burrell, who is taking over for longtime president Mo Kaho’onei.

“We’ve had a great start,” Burrell said. “We’re going to build on what we have.”

The program has 65 players, and teams are still taking signups for the next three weeks.

The Junior Mustangs are also in a new league, American Youth Football. Kaho’onei, who is still on the organization’s board of directors through this season, said the board made the move to put the kids into a higher competitive level. AYF NorCal includes 24 teams from Merced up to Sacramento, plus San Francisco and East Bay teams.

“The coaches are going to have to coach better,” Kaho’onei said. “The kids are going to be challenged for sure.”

AYF has five levels from under-6 to under-14. The Junior Mustangs have three teams, 8U, 12U and 14U, with many kids playing up a level. A 10U team could be created if they get enough late signups.

Games begin in the second week of September, with schedules to be announced.

Contact Sports Editor Bob Brownne at, or call 209-830-4227.

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