|Hawthorne expecting 40 Trojans in camp|
|Joseph Elerson | News-Telegram Sports Writer|
July 31, 2004 - CUMBY - After back-to-back 2-8 season, coach Kent Hawthorne has brought excitement back to the Trojans for the 2004 season.
With an offseason program and weight room now at the school for the first time in school history, Hawthorne said the players have been coming to work out all summer long and he expects the team to be able to contend with other schools this season.
"They have never had a weight program here before, and I was able to bring a really good program here for the kids," Hawthorne said. "We have had kids that have increased up to 300 pounds of total weight on four lifts that we've conducted during offseason workouts."
The Trojan program expects around 40-45 kids to come to the first day of UIL-sanctioned practices Monday in an attempt to make the varsity squad.
"We thought we might have as many as 50 kids for tryouts, but at least 10 of the kids have moved since last year," Hawthorne said.
The team will host two-a-day morning practices starting at 8 a.m. at Trojan Field, with weight lifting scheduled after practices.
The coaches will also run their offseason program throughout the football season to help the players work on strength and conditioning drills.
Hawthorne said of the 40 players expected for pratice, one is from Mesquite, who will be a senior this year, and two transferred from Commerce during the summer.
One strong area for the Trojans this off-season is Cumby will have all of its starting lineman back at the two-a-day workouts.
Senior Trent McGraw returns as the center for Cumby and is already set as the starter when they travel to Alba-Golden Aug. 27 for the opening game of the season. McGraw will be a four-year starter for the Trojans, and runs a 5.0 40-yard dash.
Also, tackle Chris Steward, sophomore guard Aareon Caudle, and junior tackle Casey Romans will be returning to the line for the Trojans this season. Romans was an all-district selection last season for the Trojans.
The Trojans will have 14 starters returning Monday for workouts and 17 lettermen.
Hawthorne said the coaching staff is still looking for a tailback, fullback and tight end for the team because all of those positions had players who graduated last year.
"We feel that our receivers, quarterback, and offensive line are stable, and we just need more depth this season," Hawthorne said. "We need some of our young players to step up and take over some leadership responsibility this season."
Quarterback Matt Steward will guide the Cumby offense this season, while Charle Chavez, Nick Dyer and Jon-Michael O'Mara will take care of the receiver duties.
Hawthorne is definitely trying to put a winning attitude into each and every one of his athletes this season.
"The kids believe that when they hit the weight room and pull the sleds and flip the big tractor tires and things like that it will all pay off for them this year," Hawthorne said.