Mallard Creek Wants All Of The Smoke And Respect

CHARLOTTE, NC – Once upon a time, the Mallard Creek Mavericks were back-to-back-to-back state champions. They are a staple in the 4A bracket, and yet they still feel overlooked.

Four years ago head coach Kennedy Tinsley came to a program that knew nothing but success, with players who thought they were superstars.

“Yeah it was kinda rocky in the first year cause like everybody was being like arrogant like not listening to coach. But like as we got to our senior year, everybody is buying in to what Coach Tinsley has to say and he sets the standard high for us. Everybody is being accountable for each other,” said senior linebacker Tyrek Brown.

Those freshmen are now seniors, and the change in culture is night and day.

“I mean really special. Just getting to see them from when they first walking into the door and you know not having a clue about Mallard Creek football. So now you are introducing something new but it is not new to them,” said Tinsley.

Tinsley felt like that culture and community was overshadowed by their postseason performance.

“I really want the season to show our football improvement. I know the kids are doing better. I love where we are at but I just want the numbers to show that a little bit more,” said Tinsley.

The Mavericks made a name for themselves across the country, sitting at 91 in preseason rankings. With that attention comes adversity.

“You know we always say that is the responsibility of being a good football team and that responsibility comes with working everyday and maintaining the culture and status that you need to be successful,” said Tinsley.

“Last year we didn’t go into Buford disciplined at all. We weren’t ready at all. But this year you gone tell that we ready,” said senior wide receiver and defensive back Benjamin Black.

While they are slated to take on the top team in the country, they are more concerned with taking down the teams sitting higher on the state standings.

“Independence was ranked third, they got us ranked eleventh. I don’t think that’s, I don’t like that at all, Coach don’t like that at all. So we are gonna try and show the world that that is the wrong ranking,” said Black.

The Mavericks get an early chance to prove their doubters wrong. They open up their season at Memorial Stadium against Independence High School in the Charlotte Kickoff Night on Thursday, August 17, 2023 at 8 p.m.