Team name: Northside Patriots
2012 record: 2-7-1, 0-5 Region 1-AAAAA
How finished in region: Last
Playoff result: Did not make playoffs
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Key losses: RB Brady Pitts, RB Kendrick Smith, MLB Tyler Pouliot
Key returnees: QB Jonathan Karastury, RB Larry Gilliard, majority of offensive line
My take: In nine years as a varsity program, the Northside football team has made the postseason just twice. Only once has it finished the season with a winning record.
These are things that new head coach Morgan Ingram is committed to changing. He admitted on Thursday that they aren’t going to change overnight, not when the Patriots have lost have their starters from a team that won only two games in 2012.
The team has made a real commitment to the weight room over the winter, however, and that will be a continuing focus into the spring for the Patriots.
“We’ve made big gains there,” Ingram said. “Hopefully it pays off with a more physical brand of football.”
That’s the first step, he said. His team can’t win games if it can’t match up physically with teams in its region. And while it may not have as much raw talent as some of the other teams, an improvement in physicality will go a long way to helping it be competitive.
“Being strong in the weight room makes you more confident. More confidence leads to a better product and more wins. They have to believe they can stand on the field with some of the other tougher teams.”
The Patriots are in a region with a handful of difficult opponents such as Harris County, which went on an eight-game winning streak last year to win the region and make noise in the playoffs.
Despite the tough teams in the region, Ingram said Northside can get to that level if it remains committed toward building its strength in the spring.
“Oh, yeah,” he said. “It’s like the old adage: They put their pants on one leg at a time just like us. You always have a shot. It’s a tough fight, but we feel like we can compete with anybody.”
Follow along every day for a look at football teams around the Bi-City area. Follow David on Twitter @leprepsports.
April 29: Brookstone
April 30: Calvary Christian
May 1: Carver
May 2: Central
May 3: Chattahoochee County
May 4: Columbus
May 5: Harris County
May 6: Glenwood
May 7: Hardaway
May 8: Jordan
May 9: Kendrick