Eau Gallie head coach Tim Powers must have had offseason nightmares of the football hitting the ground. Turnovers bedeviled the Commodores’ offense last season.
“Our expectations are to play to the best of our ability,” Powers said Wednesday, “to play the game the way it’s supposed to be played and not shoot ourselves in the foot. Our expectations are right so far in camp.”
Part of the path to perfection is intense focus.
“We’re really trying to concentrate on the offensive side, install the offense. (When) we feel good about where that’s at, we’ll get to our defense.”
The goal of playing football the right way is similar to his formula for the program’s success.
“What we need to do to be successful is every player needs to buy in and be accountable for their own actions, both on and off the field. That’s been an issue for us forever. That’s been one of the biggest issues we fight, and I’m sure that’s the way it is everywhere in the country, is the kids have to be accountable for their own actions. They need to be here every day. They need to stay out of trouble off the field, and they need to come out here and give effort.”
The past two seasons, the Tigers have had an experienced defense but a young offense. Things are always changing in high school football, and this year 10 starters return to the offense.
Among those lost on defense was two-time FLORIDA TODAY Defensive Player of the Year Grady Redding.
“I don’t want to say we’ve flip-flopped, but we’re almost a complete flip-flop,” head coach John Wilkinson said. “Now we’ve lost half our defense. We lost a lot of leadership with Grady, Mike Ferguson and Tre Cadore.”
Viera Hawks head coach Kevin Mays was able to have an entire offseason to prepare his team for the 2012 season. Mays joined Viera as head coach last August and wants to mold this year’s young team in his image.
“This year, we were able to sit down as coaches and actually put a plan together, and implement a plan from the ground up. And last year it was just ‘go’ as soon as I walked in the door,” Mays said.
The Hawks have a lot of unproven talent but return five seniors on the offensive line and three on the defensive line.
“Senior leadership as a whole would be the thing that I’ve lost the most. We lost some good starters on the defensive side of the ball,” added Mays. “(The offensive and defensive lines) should be our strengths and lead the team.”