So this is what it was:
1. a slow start that resulted in a 1-4 record;
2. an embarassing loss among those first five games; and
3. an offense trying to find a niche and a defense looking for playmakers.
Welcome back to 2009.
In Paul Essary’s first year as head coach of the Athens Hornets, all of the above was true.
Actually, the Hornets started 1-5 before putting the pieces together and making the playoffs (where they led 2008 state finalist Waco LaVega until the fourth quarter of their bi-district game).
In 2012, all of the above has been a reality for the Hornets. They’re 1-4 heading into Friday night’s District 15-3A opener against the Canton Eagles (4-1) and coming off the worst loss of the three-plus-year Essary era — a 49-0 defeat at the hands of the Palestine Wildcats before last week’s open date.
Friday night’s game, however, marks the beginning of contests that will separate the playoff teams from all others.
“I think the kids understand everybody’s 0-0 going into district right now,” Essary said. “And half the teams are going to be 1-0 and half the teams are going to be 0-1 after Friday night.”
Essary said coaches spent the open week breaking down schemes, teaching and reviewing while continuing to work toward getting healthy.
“There were some things I think that were maybe a little confusing,” he said. “So hopefully we’ll understand the scheme a little bit better now.”
The Eagles — coached by former AHS chief Robert Ivey — are a high-scoring outfit. Canton claimed a 62-38 win over Wills Point two weeks ago and, the week before that, beat Carrollton Ranchview, 45-24.
Ivey’s club hasn’t been involved in a game decided by less than 17 points — which was a 47-20 loss to Fairfield in Week 2.
The Eagles’ wins have been by 21, 21, 21 and 24 points.
“Canton’s got a balanced offense, and what makes them dangerous is they do a lot of different things,” Essary said. “And they do them well.”
Despite 1-4 record, arrival of district play means new life for Athens
So this is what it was:
HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: One memorable year (w/thank you from coaching staff)
Looking back on the 2013 season for the Malakoff Tigers was one that fifth-year head coach Jamie Driskell will never forget.
JUNIOR COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Lady Cardinals domination
The No. 2-ranked Trinity Valley Community College Lady Cardinals opened up Region XIV conference play with a dominating win over Paris Junior College 81-35 Wednesday night at Cardinal Gym.
AREA SPORTS BRIEFS: Malakoff Lady Tigers defeat Cross Roads, 40-31
The Malakoff Lady Tigers defeated the Cross Roads Lady Cats 40-31 Tuesday night at Cross Roads.
BREAKING: Ticket price change in TVCC bowl section
It was reported in the Trinity Valley bowl game section that tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students in grades kindergarten through 12 for general admission seats and reserved tickets for $15 per ticket.
DISTRICT 7-2A ALL-DISTRICT FOOTBALL: MHS senior Damontes Dowell named 7-2A MVP
The Malakoff Tigers dominated the District 7-2A All-District football team with 20 selections released on Monday.
AREA SPORTS BRIEFS: Athens improves to 3-0 with 71-50 win over Pine Tree
The Athens Hornets improved to 3-0 on the year with a 71-50 win over Longview Pine Tree Monday night.
HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL: Westwood sneaks out with 44-39 win over Athens
Missed opportunities were the final blow against the Athens Lady Hornets in a 44-39 loss to the Palestine Westwood Lady Panthers Tuesday night at AHS gymnasium.
COLLEGE SOCCER: Henderson named to All-region team
Texas A&M-Commerce landed a pair on the Daktronics South Central All-Region team as defender Vicky Back and forward Savannah Henderson were both named second team honorees, announced last week.
TVCC BASKETBALL: TVCC sweeps weekend games
The No. 1-ranked Trinity Valley Community College Lady Cardinals swept two games at the Budke/Serna Thanksgiving Classic over the weekend.
12/3/13 Sports Calendar
Saturday, December 7
Heart of Texas Bowl: TVCC vs. Mesa CC 11 a.m.
- More Sports Headlines
- HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: One memorable year (w/thank you from coaching staff)