The Mustangs struggled to a 2-8 record in their first season in GHSA after moving up from GISA.
It was a tough initiation to the GHSA level for Mount Vernon, which gave up nearly 50 points a game defensively last year.
Improving on last year’s results won’t be easy for Zimmerman, who enters his inaugural campaign with only 28 players on his roster.
“Our biggest concern is depth, especially developing younger players to play this season,” he said.
The Mustangs have a few holes to fill after losing 11 starters — five on offense and six on defense — from last year’s team.
Mount Vernon is aiming for its first winning season since it went 6-4 in 2010 while still competing in GISA.
Since then, the Mustangs fell to 4-7 in their final GISA season in ’11 before going 2-8 in last year’s GHSA debut.
Making things even more challenging for Mount Vernon is playing in a formidable Region 5A that includes last year’s Class A private school runner-up, Eagle’s Landing Christian, as well as perennial state playoff teams Holy Innocents’ and Landmark Christian.
“I think it’s the toughest region in the state,” Zimmerman said. “It’s exceptionally tough from top to bottom and there will be plenty of tough competition for us.”
However, the Mustangs do have a strong veteran corps, with six seniors leading the way in the starting lineup.
“We have six seniors who are starters and they work exceptionally hard,” Zimmerman said. “Our seniors have to be the backbone of our team.”
Mount Vernon looks to put some points on the board with its spread offense and multiple-formation defense.
Running back Jibri Hicks will carry much of the load on the offensive side, while senior guards Judge Jones and Dan Tyler will anchor the offensive line.
The Mustangs are especially strong at linebacker, where junior William Paul and seniors Andrew Dobbins and Christian Burke will lead the way. “We definitely want to improve every week and be competitive in every game,” Zimmerman said.