August 7, 2008

Football Program Spends Summer of ‘Hard Work and No Excuses’

Hard work and no excuses. That is what the Scotland County football program was preaching heading into this off season and head coach Brent Bondurant said that is what he has been seeing from his players.

For the past eight weeks the football program has been hosting strength and conditioning drills three days a week with players hitting the weight room at 6:00 a.m. each morning.

While the program is optional, the coaching staff implemented a requirement of 80% attendance records for players to be eligible for game competition.

According to Coach Bondurant, the incentive plan has paid off.

“When we would have organizational meetings in the early spring, there were 30 to 35 kids that showed up,” he said. “However when it came down to putting in the time and commitment needed to be competitive, we found out who really wanted to play. Over 20 young men made the 80% attendance guideline this summer.”

Sophomore quarterback and defensive back Sabe Sears recorded perfect attendance over the summer.

“We had a handful of kids miss the cut-off by one or two absences,” Bondurant said. “Those athletes will have to make up the time missed in order to be game eligible.”

The Tigers will be turning to youth movement to try and erase the memory of a disappointing 2007 season. Over half the current roster is made up of freshmen and sophomores.

“We are going to be young, but we have a solid group of upperclassmen that we are relying on to assist in the maturation process with our younger kids,” Bondurant said.

With the younger athletes coming off winning seasons at the lower levels, the coaching staff points to a positive attitude that is fueling the team concept.

“As coaches, we like the chemistry within this group of kids,” Bondurant said. “Thus far it has been a business-like attitude in camp. Our kids know they have something to prove, to themselves and the opponents on our schedule. We must play each week with a chip on our shoulders.”

The Tigers concluded the preseason football camp last week and the staff was excited about the improvements they saw in the players.

“Right now we are ahead of where we were at this time last season,” said Bondurant. “I attribute that to the hard work the kids have put forward in the weight room. Not only have they gotten stronger and faster, but they have grown as a group. When they see their friends working hard, that pushes them to do the same. Thus, each player has a mutual respect for their teammates and can trust them to back them up in the heat of the action.”

That concept is backed up in this year’s team theme of “No Excuses.”

“”Who is our most valuable player?” They all are,” said Bondurant. “We are counting on each other to get the job done and that means a lot.”

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