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:
JUNIOR COLLEGE BASKETBALL: TVCC celebrates national title
Another title celebration.
AREA SPORTS BRIEFS: AHS senior Enrique Rodriguez named Co-Offensive MVP
Enrique Rodriguez was the lone superlative selections for the Athens Hornets soccer team on the District 31-4A all-district team.
JUNIOR COLLEGE BASKETBALL: NJCAA names Lovato Coach of the Year, Bulgak Player of the Year
The NJCAA national office announced the 2013-14 Spalding® NJCAA Women’s Basketball Players and Coaches of the Year Tuesday.
HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL: Showing their skills
A great honor.
That was the central theme for five Henderson County area players following the 11th annual Azalea All-Star games.
AREA GOLF: ACP golfers finish strong in tournament
The Athens Christian Preparatory Academy Storm golf team competed in the Waxahachie Preparatory Invitational on Tuesday, April 1.
HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL: Hornets hold on to first place with win over Van
The Athens Hornets bounced back from their first loss in district play with a 7-3 win over the Van Vandals Friday night at Hornet Field.
HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL: BHS Bears in playoff hunt with 3-2 win over Mineola
The Brownsboro Bears picked up a much needed District 15-3A win Friday night with a 3-2 victory over the Mineola Yellowjackets.
HIGH SCHOOL TRACK: Malakoff sends 11 athletes to Class 2A area track meet
The Malakoff Tigers had 11 athletes advance to the area track meet in Kemp this Wednesday.
DISTRICT 15-3A TRACK: Athens send 12 to area meet
The Athens Hornets and Lady Hornets had 12 athletes advance to the area track and field meet following the finals of the District 15-3A track meet at Van High School on Thursday night.
HIGH SCHOOL SOFTBALL: Rough outing
The Athens Lady Hornets wish they could have two innings back following Friday night’s 13-2 loss to the Van Lady Vandals.
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