Athens Review, Athens, Texas

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May 28, 2014

HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Working on their goal

90 kids taking part in Athens Hornets spring workout session

Athens — The Athens Hornets are wrapping up spring football workouts with big numbers in the athletic program.

With 67 days remaining until the start of summer workouts, head coach Paul Essary said 90 students are taking part in spring workouts.

Those students are currenly outgoing freshmen through juniors.

He also said the middle school has been working hard this off season.

“We have had a great off season and a great spring,” Essary said. “They have been working hard all off season. They have been lifting and running. During their athletic period they have been doing football the last three-or-four weeks.”

Essary said with a 13-game regular season winning streak on the line, the athletes know what needs to happen during their athletic period.

“Our guys now are at the point to where they are expecting to win themselves,” Essary said. “They know what it takes and that is a lot of hard work. They come everyday ready to work and they are looking forward to the challenge of next year.”

A new district awaits the Hornets as they come into District 8-4A, Division I.

The district teams for the next two seasons are Crandall, Kaufman, Van, Mabank and Wills Point.

“I told them that you are the undefeated district champion,” Essary said. “It is a new district but you are an undefeated district champion. That gives them a lot of pride and they have a lot on the line.”

He said he has challenged his athletes to know what it means to keep the winning streak going next season.

“That is a good accomplishment,” Essary said. “They do not want to be the team to let somebody down.”

Athens faces a tough non-district schedule that includes the Henderson Lions, Diboll Lumberjacks, Hallsville Bobcats, Rusk Eagles and Waco Robinson Rockets.

Essary said he hopes his players will work hard during the off season.

“They know that what they do during the summer prepares them for the first five games,” Essary said. “Like I told them, as coaches we can have them ready to go by district. You have to come in at two-a-days in shape to be successful in the first five games.”

Essary said he wants to see more players take on a leadership role when practices start August 4.

“I am looking for some more people to step up and be leaders,” Essary said. “We lost some great leadership last year and every good team has that. We need a few more to step up and be leaders for our team.”

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