LEWISTOWN - Over the last two years, Mifflin County has seen its fair share of change. Between combining schools and entering a new conference, it's a new era in Juniata Valley.
In the book called change, flip the page to the next chapter: Mifflin County hosts its first Mid-Penn Conference football game tonight at Mitchell Field.
The Carlisle Thundering Herd head up the highway to introduce the Huskies to one of the toughest conferences in all of high school sports, Mifflin County coach George Miskinis said.
The second-year Mifflin County coach has led the Huskies to a 2-1 start to the 2012 campaign. And frankly, the Huskies could be looking 3-0 right in the face if it wasn't for a frustrating second half in the opener against DuBois.
When Carlisle rolls off the buses at Mitchell Field, Miskinis' Huskies will be ready.
"We can't wait for tomorrow night," he said. "This is what it was all about when we put the schools together."
Following a year of playing as an independent in which the Huskies rolled to a 7-4 record in a schedule that included a few inferior teams, the task at hand is the most important one. Mifflin County is focused on the Thundering Herd only.
"I don't think we're in the habit of looking forward," Miskinis said. "Who is it this week? You have to be aware of who you are and where we are in this setting. We just have to focus on getting better this week."
In a few weeks, the Huskies will be faced with a three-game stretch that could quite possibly the toughest in the state. On Sept. 29, Mifflin County goes to Harrisburg. Then, in back-to-back weeks, the Huskies will host Central Dauphin and travel to Cumberland Valley.
Central Dauphin is the defending Class AAAA champions. But Miskinis quickly noted that Cumberland Valley isn't too far behind.
"I think without a doubt, from top to bottom, week in and week out it's the best competition in the state," Miskinis said. "There have been teams that have been dominant for a few years and then the cycle changes."
After a 19-6 win last week at Central Mountain, the Huskies have something to prove. The Mid-Penn Conference isn't a place where teams just walk into and win football games. But that's what Mifflin County has its sights set on.
Miskinis and the Huskies will be facing a very young team in Carlisle, including a young quarterback. But Miskinis is making sure his Huskies play their game and their game only.
"We're trying to make sure we stay within ourselves and not do anything to get outside of what we do," he said.
The Mifflin County coach does have experience playing Mid-Penn schools in his time at Millersburg. Teams like Camp Hill and Boiling Springs were always on the Indians' schedule. And one thing Miskinis knows is that the Mid-Penn offers a lot of speed.
Division 1 recruits are spread out throughout every team. At times, more than a handful.
"We saw some speed when I was at Millersburg," Miskinis said. "The thing is, speed hurts you if you let it hurt you. We have to learn to play fast and make quicker decisions."
The new era starts tonight at 7 p.m. at Mitchell Field.
"You want to play football at the highest level," Miskinis said. "We're going to get a taste of that."