MECHANICSVILLE, Va. (WWBT) - Lee-Davis has competed on the football field since 1958, but when the team takes the field in the spring, it will mark a complete rebrand. A new school name, a new team mascot, and, if you ask the players, a new standard are all in place, as Mechanicsville High School was unveiled earlier this fall.
Head coach Ryan Turnage says that players have come to his office to talk about the Lee-Davis Confederates name during his time at the school. Some wanted to see it changed, others were in support of it, but it never got in the way of the team.
“It’s always been 50-50,” Turnage said. “I would say it’s never been anything that’s divided our locker room.”
“We just try to treat everyone the same,” added Mechanicsville junior defensive end DaJuan Washington. “We don’t really worry about the politics and stuff.”
It’s now a new era for the program, as it will take the field in the spring as the Mechanicsville Mustangs.
“Not many people can say they were a part of a team that had two names,” said Mustang junior Adam Elaal.
“We’re going to set the standard for the next years coming,” noted senior Kyle Whitlock.
The players look forward to setting that standard. Lee-Davis struggled to a 3-17 record during the last two years, so opening a new chapter as Mechanicsville offers the chance for a fresh start.
“We always talk about trying to get better,” noted senior running back Chase Stattelman. “We come out with a new name, we’ve got to come out sharp.”
“I want to be like a new and improved team,” Elaal added. “We haven’t been too sharp the last couple of years.”
With the new name comes a new look. Mechanicsville will sport its new colors when it takes the field- black, orange and purple, similar to Clemson. It’s one of the most exciting parts of the process for the players.
“The new uniforms are sick,” smiled Washington. “The all black is going to look cool, the new helmets... we’re just going to look great.”
“I’ve been asking my coach for an all black uni since forever and a half ago,” said Elaal. “Now that I’m getting it, I’m pretty hype.”
Of course, a new name doesn’t change the bond this team has or the style it will play. The players and coaches are representing the same community they always have, but now they’re doing it as Mustangs, and they’ll look to make that historic first season a memorable one.
“I don’t think our name on our jersey affects how we play on the field,” Whitlock said. “I think we’re still a team on the field.”
“We’re Mechanicsville High School, we’re the Mustangs and we’re proud to be that,” said Turnage. “We’re going to represent with pride like we always have.”
Mechanicsville opens its season on February 26 against Varina.
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