By Sarah McCarthy
After an undefeated, Championship 2016 season the Dryden Eagles Football team was back on the field preparing for this fall. The Eagles started practicing basic drills and plays throughout the month of May and ended off spring training with the annual blue and gold game last week.
Jarett Hicks and Thomas Moline, two soon to be seniors on the team as well as 3rd year veterans Gus Brosseau and Bailey Murrell all agreed that hard work is still the key to having another successful season. The Quarterback of the team, Hicks said it is a new year and they need to focus on the season at hand.
“We know it’s a new campaign, we know we gotta work just as hard because we didn’t just stumble upon a championship last year. We worked hard, worked our butts off all year long to get there. We’re just gunna have to do that again and leave no doubt.”
Linebacker, Murrell adds that the team does have more confidence going into this season with a championship under their belt. Brosseau, another Linebacker talked about the senior players from the past season that will not be returning and said:
“There are players leaving-big contributors to our championship last year and there are shoes to be filled. It’s gunna be a big task but we have to work just as hard-if not harder than last year.”
Roles need to be filled for this year’s Eagles football team and although players are moving on, that also means other players move up. Future grade 12 student and Safety for the team, Moline said that other seniors like him are prepared to rise to the challenge.
“Us as seniors, we will have to step up in our leadership roles by teaching them (other players) what we know and pass along our playing experience.”
The Falcon Football program has also been another asset in bringing up players with an understanding of the game. Hicks said the program has done a great deal of work for the Eagles team.
“The Falcons help out a lot, the majority of our team has come from that organization. If it weren’t for the Falcons I don’t think we could have won the championship last year.”
Setting a good example for younger players at practices will also improve their team’s strength as a whole but Murrell adds that athletes should also be putting in work on their own time.
“We have to step up and work on our own individual game too, work hard at the gym and at practice together.”
Moline mentioned that the mental side of the game is also going to play a big part in how they play their game in the coming season and not letting the events of last year go to their head.
“We’re going to keep the same mind set as last year, trying to remain humble and just working hard at every practice.”
Both Hicks and Moline got a head start on their training for Football by joining the DHS Track and Field team.
“Absolutely track and field is a good stepping stone to work at on the off season, to try and improve on things like speed and overall conditioning.”
The athletes’ hard work and dedication to the new sport paid off, as they both got the opportunity to compete at OFSAA Track and Field just recently Hicks adds it was a great decision to join the team and that they feel they are going to start off the football season a lot stronger. Also that the benefits should encourage other football players to do the same and join track and field next spring. Goals are set high for the upcoming season and a humble but hungry Eagles Football team is in the works for the 2017 season.