East regional appearance fuels Bulldawgs
By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on August 3, 2013 11:04 PM
PRINCETON -- After coming up one game short of playing for a state championship last year, Princeton's battle cry this season is simple -- one more.
The excitement surrounding the Bulldogs' program following that run to the N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 1-A (small-school) eastern regional championship game has led to a productive summer.
A total of 70 varsity and junior varsity players have turned out for the first three days of practice. A junior- and senior-laden group familiar with second-year head coach Derrick Minor's system are focused on building off last season's success.
"I think that playoff loss to Plymouth lit a fire," Minor said. "The guys saw how successful we could be. This summer we've done it all from tutoring sessions to the weight room and that Plymouth game last year it left a hunger in these kids. We are probably three weeks ahead of where we were at this time last year.
"Our slogan this year is 'one more,' whether that be one more rep or one more week or one more game."
Princeton returns starting quarterback Michael Wooten, starting tailback Johnny Frasier and a veteran offensive line. Wooten threw for 1,153 yards and four touchdowns last season while Frasier rushed for 1,792 yards and 21 touchdowns.
Frasier averaged 7.83 yards per carry as a sophomore. He received attention from both North Carolina and N.C. State while attending camps during the summer.
"When you have your quarterback and your running back returning it makes a difference," Minor said. "Now we're fine tuning on offense where a year ago we were teaching a whole new system. Johnny had a great summer and he's grown physically and mentally. Last year he had the physical capabilities and he was still learning how good he could really be. It has made him more hungry to prove to everyone else that he is for real."
Postseason success has brought about heightened expectations for the Bulldogs who are learning to handle added pressure while teaching younger players what is expected in the program.
Minor has placed an emphasis on leadership while preaching that positive results are developed through sustained commitment.
"We've been telling our guys if you don't grow tired of doing what is good and you don't grow tired of working hard that good things are going to happen," Minor said. "Last season changed the mindset that we can compete. I'm real big on character and building leaders in the program.
"We have this system where older guys are taking younger guys under their wing. Instead of fussing at them when they mess up they encourage them and show them how we do things."
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