Archer City, Texas -
If there's one thing that can be said about Archer City first year head coach Don Hasley it's that he is not lacking in the enthusiasm department. In the first 30 minutes of practice you here more shouts of encouragement from players and coaches than you hear from many teams in a whole week. Of course talking the talk is just step one. Now coach Hasley wants his players to walk the walk.
If you want to know what kind of coach Don Hasley is. All you have to do is listen. Hasley comes to archer city this year after spending 8 years as head coach of Paris Chism high school. And says he couldn't be happier, "every kid here has got a great attitude they're all flying around. From freshman to senior they're all in it together. They all seem to genuinely want to be around each other. It's infectious and the atmosphere around practice is fantastic."
This team finished off the season with a district win at Olney last year. Upending the cubs 25 to eight. This year the senior laden wildcats come in with more experience. Looking to finish above 500 for the first time in 3 years. And the senior Tyler Scrogum saying there is one game that they already have circled on the schedule, "we gotta beat Windthorst. That's number one. We haven't beat them in a while. The groups before us never beat them. We've definitely gotten into the rivalry. We're trying to win the district and then get into the playoffs."Evan Knobloch another senior that wants to take down the Trojans and make the playoffs, "we're going to beat Windthorst no matter what. That's my main goal at least. We're going to make the playoffs and we're going to beat Windthorst while we're doing it." Senior Garrett Morris also says that Windthorst is going to be a big game, "that's probably second to making the playoffs. If we beat Windthorst that would be a nice way to end the year."
Back on defense for the Wildcats is defensive back Tyler Scrogum one of 15 returning starters on the field along with db and quarterback Ty Tucker. Who after being one of three quarterbacks to get snaps last year. Is transitioning to the role of full time starter under center. Head coach Hasley saying with so many starters back from last year. It's all about getting everyone to buy in, "i want them to understand it's not just one or two guys that we need something special out of. We've got to have every single guy out here contribute and give us something special. And we've got them."
With a solid offensive line and tucker getting stronger under center, Hasley says running the ball will be a big part of his offense in his first year as coach, but that he's gaining confidence in his team's ability to throw as well. And Coach Hasley says there's a reason he runs practice the way he does. "we want everybody that plays us to not want to play us again. That's because we're going to play for 48 minutes 100 miles an hour. And they're going to know they've been in a fight. And that's our goal. If we do that we're going to be more and more confident. If we walk around going through the motions we're not going to be confident when someone hits us in the mouth. Right now we're at a point where each and every day we say we can do these things. We don't throw around the word can't very often"