08/06/10 — Williams encouraging seniors to leave mark

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Williams encouraging seniors to leave mark

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on August 6, 2010 1:46 PM

Make a mark.

Get better every day.

Second-year Eastern Wayne head football coach Guy "Bubba" Williams delivers those messages on a daily basis to his 16-member senior class. They've become more prevalent this week.

"I've told them they have to leave their mark," said Williams before Thursday's practice. "It's up to them how they want to leave Eastern Wayne football. This is their team and their group, and it's how they want to be remembered."

The Warriors won their final regular-season game in 2009 and logged a 1-10 worksheet during Williams' initial campaign in New Hope. Eastern Wayne has put just four winning teams on the field since 1990, and hasn't emerged victorious in a playoff game since 1978.

Williams thinks the seniors could buck the current trend.

"I'm a firm believer that seniors have to lead your team and you need to follow (them) because they've been around," said Williams. "This group knows what to expect after last year and they've learned a lot. The leadership has been fairly good."

The players donned shoulder pads for the first time and Williams took the linemen over to the five-man sled. His assistant coaches took their respective groups to different areas of the field, and the players took on a business-like attitude in overcast and breezy conditions.

More than 70 players have reported to practice this week, including just 32 on the varsity side. Williams described the summer participation as "excellent" with between 50 and 60 players reporting to lift weights and work on their conditioning.

Eastern Wayne also participated in a 7-on-7 passing league with several quality Class 4-A programs, and fared well, according to Williams.

"We've been kind of up and down (so far), probably like everybody else," said Williams, who returns 14 starters off last year's team. "Focus has been our main thing. Some days we have it. I think we've been giving a good effort. Execution and focus is what we're trying to hone in on.

"The kids know what we're doing. It's just fine-tuning things. They know the offense, they know the defense, they know how to line up, they know the stance and how to come off the ball.

"It's a matter of knowing responsibilities and how to adjust off of that."

The Warriors can begin live hitting drills Monday.

Three days later, they travel to Wilmington for a five-team scrimmage at Ashley High School. Williams and his charges will compete against Ashley, Richlands, Jacksonville and Heide Trask.

Eastern Wayne opens its 2010 season Aug. 20 at Wilson Hunt.