High Goals: Excitement is in the air as Trojans prepare for preseason prediction

By JOSEPH ELERSON | News-Telegram Sports Writer

Aug. 8, 2007 - CUMBY - The excitement is in the air for the Cumby Trojans after the first three days of preseason practices at Trojan Field.

With 36 athletes suited up for two-a-day drills, head coach Kent Hawthorne said he was pleased with the team and how the players were handling the morning sessions.

"The practices have been going really good. We have a good chemistry of kids that actually care about each other," the coach said. "We got kids that seem to get along and that is really important. We want kids with good chemistry and we want the best of the best."

With a second-place finish in District 16-A predicted by Dave Campbell's Texas Football Magazine this year, the team seems to be stronger according to Hawthorne.

"Most of these kids were up here all summer long working out," he said. "The ones that didn't work out here were with dad or somewhere else. Some were working where they were at and some did not. We have to catch the kids up as fast as we can."

Sophomore quarterback Brixx Hawthorne will play a major role in the Trojans success this year with a newly installed offense as the Trojans plan on throwing the ball more with a strong group of receivers.

Hawthorne said the team's wishbone offense will still be around but spreading defenders out will be a key this year.

"We have been putting in our new offense in this week and our defense is pretty much the same. We are going to try and throw the ball some more and spread people out," the coach said. "We feel like we have a good group of receivers and a good quarterback that can throw the ball. We are going to try and balance it out more this year."

He said the team has put in around 32 plays during the first two days of practices with refreshing plays from last year and putting in some new plays before their first game of the season in three weeks against the Alba-Golden Panthers.

"We have been putting on about 16 new plays a day. We are trying to catch the kids up from last year and be able to work the soreness out of our players from the summer," Hawthorne said. "We will then work on our drills and stuff like that. It is hard with the kids in shorts to do what we want to do.

"These guys have come out here early and stayed late, and that is what they have done this preseason. We are looking forward to this season and these guys have had smiles and giggles every day and have been fun to work with so far."

Notes: The Trojans will have Media Day at 11:30 a.m. tomorrow, and Hawthorne said the team would have a light practice before the Media Day. ... With the 36 players on the team this year, Hawthorne said depth will be an issue for the Trojans as they will not be able to do a full 11-on-11 contact workout on Friday. He said the team will probably have to do a half-line format Friday during contact drills. ... The Trojans will have their first scrimmage next Saturday against the Como-Pickton Eagles starting at 10 a.m. at Trojan Field.

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