Archived Story

‘It’s all about effort’: Generals stress high work ethic

Published 10:13am Monday, August 12, 2013

With the first week of practice in the books, the Horseshoe Bend Generals are focusing on daily improvement.
To achieve that improvement, HBHS head coach Jason Franklin said a high work ethic would be paramount to team success.
“For the first week, I’ve been pleased so far as we’ve had good practices lately with good effort, but we’ve got to have a little bit more,” Franklin said. “Monday was the worst practice we’ve had and I told them it better be the worst one we have all year because we have to get better everyday. If we’re improving everyday, by the time we get to Aug. 29 we should be close to where we need to be.”
With the loss of numerous skill players and leadership, Franklin said he knows the team may not be as explosive as last year’s 8-3 squad.
However, Franklin feels confident that whomever trots out onto the field for the Generals will be able to execute their responsibilities, adding that the players haven’t reached their potential yet.
“Are we replacing 4.5 guys with 4.7 guys? Yes,” Franklin said. “But, they can still do the job that we need them to do. I feel good with the guys we’ve got now, but we’ve got a lot of room for improvement.”
A key position to shore up is  at wide receiver.
Franklin said Jordan Funderburke has performed well in drills and Brady Fuller looks strong in the slot.
“We’ve got some guys, but we need one more receiver,” Franklin said. “We’ve got two guys in the mix for it, but one of them has to step up and take it.”
At running back, junior Jackson Sexton looks to be the lead man, and has impressed with a punishing, north-south style.
However, a freshman has caught Franklin’s eye.
“Drew Hill is probably going to be a mainstay on defense and a player at runningback,” he said. “Jackson’s got more of a smashmouth style. But (Drew’s) got a lot of speed and he gives us a little wiggle in the backfield.”
But Hill’s speed is not enough, Franklin said.
The Generals’ offense, which relies on a fast pace, isn’t quite up to speed.
“We’ve got to get faster,” Franklin said. “Our scheme on offense relies on tempo, and we’ve got to have a high tempo.”
Franklin said the way for the team to fix that would be making sure the motors run high at all times.
“A lot of our guys play both ways, and they’ve got to match the intensity they have on defense,” “Whether it’s a five-play drive or a 10-play drive, our intensity has to be the same, and it has to be high.”
Above all, Franklin said, the key for the team’s success going forward will be leaving it all on the field.
“It’s all about effort,” he said. “Effort-wise, it’s got to be better. We’re replacing a lot of guys from last year, and there’s guys who have to know those roles, embrace them and go ahead and take a leadership role. We’re trying to push them to give max effort because effort will take you a lot farther than anything else.”