The end result was nothing to be excited about, but overall, Jeff Tate was thrilled with the steps his Wren High School football team took in 2013.
The Hurricanes ended their season at 8-4 following their 35-7, Class AAA, second-round playoff loss to Chapman, but Tate loved the progress he saw in past 12 games.
“I’m proud of the season we had, the young group we had, from where we started, the way we started, and it’s been a big improvement,” Tate said. “Disappointment? Yes. You never want to lose your last game. You always want to win. Win the last one. There’s going to be very few that get to do that.
“I’m proud of the seniors and having an opportunity to coach those guys. Wish we had a better ending to tonight’s game. It didn’t turn out that way. Life goes on, and we’ll move forward.”
Tate will suffer personnel losses on defense, but he brings back the core of his offense — three offensive linemen, three starting wide receivers, starting tailback Nathaniel Ekwere and highly touted quarterback Kelly Bryant.
Bryant made the Hurricanes’ spread offense hum in his first season as the starter, and Tate knows Bryant can only improve, calling him a “special player.”
“It’s being able to get the ball out of your hands a little quicker. It happens at every level,” Tate said. “The higher the level you go up, the quicker you’ve got to get rid of the football, and that comes from recognizing what they’re doing defensively, knowing where to go with the ball and your receivers being in tune with you also.”