Hardaway to build off 2016, ‘shock the city’ in ‘17

Hardaway’s 5-win season in 2016 gave the Hawks its highest win complete since 2010, however to go coach Michael Woolridge, it was removed from the last word objective.

Woolridge acquired recognition after he led his alma mater to a 5-four report that fell in need of a playoff berth. 5 wins may need been sufficient to realize the group’s consideration and respect, however to Woolridge, it was merely a step towards the staff’s true goals.

“We don’t reward mediocrity right here,” Woolridge stated. “We’re trying to get into the playoffs this yr. We’re placing the 5 wins behind us as a result of it’s a brand new season. We’re able to do greater than that. No one on this area is content material with being 5-four. Nothing good comes out of common.”

Though final season fell in need of expectations in Woolridge’s eyes, it was sufficient to encourage the Hawks gamers as they ready for 2017. Throw in a brand new-look unfold offense, and the result’s true pleasure inside the Hawks program.

In response to Woolridge, the Hawks offense begins with senior operating again Marco Lee, who rushed for 836 yards and 4 touchdowns one yr in the past. Lee was trustworthy in his ideas about his junior season, stating the group let a number of wins slip away by means of their very own errors.

“We all know that we might have gained far more video games than we did final yr if we might have been working just a little bit more durable and never making the dangerous errors we have been making,” Lee stated.

Woolridge defined the important thing for Lee and Firm to take that subsequent step is profitable street video games towards high quality opponents. In 2016, Hardaway went 1-2 in true street video games outdoors of Columbus, with the win being a 3-level squeaker over Harris County. The Hawks have 4 true street video games this season, together with an important area recreation towards Cairo on Sept. 15 proper after the Hawks’ bye week.

“Every thing we’ve executed — once we scrimmaged individuals this summer time, the spring recreation on the street — was strategically deliberate,” Woolridge stated. “We needed to play good groups on the street. We went as much as Smiths Station and performed this summer time and we went to Manchester for an eleven-on-eleven towards them. Simply beating a top quality staff on the street is what it’s going to take for us to get the place we have to be.”

The spring recreation that Woolridge talked about confirmed loads of promise in Hardaway’s offense. The Hawks put up 30 factors in a shootout with Upson-Lee, with broad receiver Jakhari Thomas reeling in three landing catches.

“Coach Woolridge is nice, and he’s acquired plenty of momentum with the brand new offense,” Thomas stated. “We’ve simply obtained to maintain grinding.”

The Hawks return a substantial quantity of starters from 2016, and whereas meaning expertise is on its means again, with that comes confidence. The upperclassmen obtained their first style of actually profitable one yr in the past, however it was nonetheless to not the extent everybody concerned is aiming for.

That’s all of the extra purpose for the group to hit its goal this go round.

“You possibly can’t simply accept profitable 5 video games,” senior center linebacker Clyde Albright stated. “You’ve obtained to shoot for greatness and go for the championship. Why not?”

A number of of the gamers stated Woolridge has been of their ears all offseason, telling them they are often nice in the event that they put the trouble in. Those self same guys admitted the summer time work has been a grind, however they perceive the intent from their head coach and the remainder of the employees.

Hardaway confirmed itself able to contending in 2016, however the Hawks have each intention of creating that season merely the primary wave of one thing even greater.

“We’re excited,” senior outdoors linebacker Adrian Dunham stated. “There’s feelings as a result of we all know it’s our final yr, so we all know we’ve received to provide all of it. I feel we’re going to shock the town this yr.”

2017 Schedule

Aug. 17 – at Troup (Callaway Stadium)

Aug. 26 – vs Harris County (Kinnett Stadium)

Sept. 1 – at Lee County

Sept. eight – BYE WEEK

Sept. 15 – at Cairo

Sept. 22 – vs Columbus (Kinnett Stadium)

Sept. 29 – at Westover (Mills Stadium)

Oct. 6 – BYE WEEK

Oct. 12 – vs Northside (Kinnett Stadium)

Oct. 19 – vs Americus-Sumter (Memorial Stadium)

Oct. 28 – vs Carver (Kinnett Stadium)

Nov. three – vs Shaw (Kinnett Stadium)

Head Coach: Michael Woolridge (2nd season at Hardaway, 2nd as a head coach)

2016 General Document (Area Report): 5-four (three-four)

Playoffs: No

Returning Starters on Offense: 7

Returning Starters on Protection: 9

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