Keeping the Eldon Mustang football herd fueled for nine regular season games and the district playoffs is a daunting task. With players and coaches numbered in the 50s, it’s no easy routine to organize and execute meals.

Keeping the Eldon Mustang football herd fueled for nine regular season games and the district playoffs is a daunting task. With players and coaches numbered in the 50s, it’s no easy routine to organize and execute meals.

Beginning on Thursday until Saturday morning, the players and coaches spend most of their waking hours together. From pregame on Thursday, games on Friday and film on Saturday, the Mustangs are a family.

Feeding the team began as a community effort to build team unity and to ensure when the boys hit the field, they were fueled up and ready to go. With little time between class and games, making sure the boys were sufficiently fed was a priority. The task of arranging and getting the pregame dinners falls to Shelly Davis.

Despite a hectic schedule, Davis, a Mustang diehard, never hesitates to make time. It is her way of letting players know the hard work and dedication they put in are appreciated.

Thursday night meals are provided by local businesses who come out and support the team. Davis said it is a great way to kick off the pregame activities and get to know the boys. The sponsors visit with the players and have an opportunity to show their support for coaching staff. Some of those who are now supporting the team are alumni who were once Mustangs wearing the Maroon and Gold, because as the saying goes in Eldon, “Once a Mustang, always a Mustang.”

Davis makes a huge task look easy as she organizes the meals and recruits parents and community members to come out and help with the serving and cleanup.

For Friday night games, the team gets a home-cooked meal at Victor Field for home games, or sack lunches for away games, along with halftime and after game snacks.

The Friday night tradition began a few years back with Christina Dillon. Her sons, Trenton, a 2018 Eldon graduate, and current senior Kaden were playing. Since then it has turned into a family affair with her husband, Lonnie, lending a hand, “Grandma Marla” helping out and Nathaniel Wardenburg’s family chipping in with whatever is needed. Player families donate $50 for the season and when that runs out, the Dillons and a few other parents step in to finish out the season to make sure the boys are fed.

It’s not unusual to find nearly the entire team waiting for food to be served asking, ‘When can we eat?’ or “What’s for dinner?’”

Dillon has no idea how many sandwiches have been packed, or bags of chips and fruit have been loaded up for away games. What she is sure of is that the boys are always appreciative.

It's a huge job, but Dillon said it is well worth it.