08/01/12 — Pinkowski: Seniors need to lead team

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Pinkowski: Seniors need to lead team

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on August 1, 2012 1:49 PM

PIKEVILLE -- There have been some familiar faces around Charles B. Aycock's first two football practices and one emotion that has been missing the past two seasons -- urgency.

The Golden Falcons return 19 seniors and have had a total of 87 players turn out between the varsity and junior varsity squads this week.

Following a 2-8 finish last season and a 3-8 campaign in 2010, Aycock head coach Randy Pinkowski has stressed leadership and work ethic to his upperclassmen during the offseason.

"Our focus has been on developing senior leadership and that winning attitude," Pinkowski said. "I think when we had some success a few years ago we as coaches thought all the work we had put in developing that winning attitude and work ethic had taken care of itself.

"We've realized it is a never-ending task and you have to continue to teach that."

The Golden Falcons are practicing during the evenings and have enjoyed pleasant temperatures while working on a ball-control, shotgun-oriented offense guided by senior quarterback Austin Snowden. Snowden rushed for 849 yards and 12 touchdowns last season and should benefit from the return of senior tight end A.J. Mundle. Mundle missed all of the 2011 season with a knee injury.

"Before last season we were really searching for a quarterback," Pinkowski said. "We took Austin, a kid who knew zero about playing quarterback but who had the skills, and made the rest fit around him. Now, we get A.J. back, and we're going to control the ball, throw short, quick passes and hopefully limit our turnovers."

Pinkowski is also optimistic about Aycock's amount of talented depth at numerous positions. With nearly every position on the field going two or three players deep on the roster, practices can better prepare the Golden Falcons for what they'll face on Friday nights.

"Unless you are a coach, it is hard to know what a difference having quality players all over the field makes," Pinkowski said. "It gives you quality practices with quality players competing against quality players. Now we don't have the first-team defense practicing against the scout-team offense and not preparing them for what they will face on Friday night.

"The depth is a tremendous plus for us."