During the offseason, it’s every coach’s job to present an air of excitement surrounding their respective programs.
Sometimes that excitement is valid, while other times it is nothing more than show.
In the case of the Bi-City football coaches during spring practice, I lean more toward the former.
Having had the opportunity to speak with the majority of coaches about their teams’ respective spring practices, I get the sense that the majority feel confident about the direction of their programs.
Some, like Carver, are going in a somewhat new direction. The Tigers had their first spring practice since the departure of successful coach Dell McGee. Despite being under the leadership of a new coach, Joe Kegler, things should remain the same going forward.
The expectation is a region championship and the goal is winning state. The talent on the team certainly lends itself to those expectations.
Then there are schools like Hardaway, which have legitimate talent on the roster and have plenty of reason to think 2013 may be a successful year no matter the win total a season ago.
In the case of the Hawks, they won just three games a season ago, but coach Jeff Battles was noticeably abuzz concerning his team going forward. No, he didn’t state any expectations for the season, but he did say things looked the most promising of all the years he’s been coach at Hardaway. The team just needed to follow its strong offseason and spring with an even better summer and fall, Battles said.
The same can be said for schools like Spencer and Jordan.
Spencer coach Calvin Arnold and Jordan coach Jim Brown both said a lot of what they’ve worked on this spring is improving fundamentals. Plenty of other teams are in the same boat.
That often gives the impression that the team is still on the first of many steps to becoming competitive, but that isn’t really the case. Those teams have some real athletic talent. It’s simply a matter of molding that talent and giving it the proper tools to succeed against other difficult competition.
Not every school is going to win six or seven games in the coming season, nor will every school make the state playoffs.
There will be teams that only win two or three. Some teams that we expect to be better may not meet the expectations. Others we expect to come up short may surprise us.
That happens every season.
What we can be sure of, though, is that teams are improving, and that just means better football for us to watch come fall.
David Mitchell, 706-571-8571, firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow David on Twitter @leprepsports.