FNF Preview: 2013 Hirschi Huskies

- Last year was a rough year for the Hirschi Huskies. Finishing 2-and-8 and 1-and-3 in district. Their season coming to an end with a 29 point loss to Graham.

The Huskies haven't had a winning season since 2006. Finishing 6 and 4. Husky players will admit there wasn't a sense of unity on the sidelines. Saying teammates would argue with each other and not back each other up. This year though the Huskies say that isn't the case.

According to senior Rico Shumpert this year they're ready to get back to winning. "It's a little bit different. We play with a lot more intensity. We play more as a family now. A couple years ago it wasn't like that. We picked it up a little bit because we want to win." Junior running back Cedric Battle agrees, "Everybody on the team is playing as a team. We got some seniors on the team and some leaders that care."

The Hirschi Huskies are used to being young. Seven player played significant time as sophomores two years ago. And even more than that suited up and got significant playing time as juniors last year. Head Coach Cody Slater says this is the time for his seniors to shine, Wwe feel like this is their year. They've been through the battle as a sophomore and again as a junior. Now they're seniors. Like I said probably 9 of our starters last year were underclassman so we've got a lot coming back and we're looking forward to that."

Back for the Huskies on offense this year is running back Cedric Battle who is looking to improve on his 600 yard 4 TD performance of last year. Slater says he's going to take on a bigger role in the offense this year, "I think that Cedric being a sophomore last year got thrown to the fire. His eyes were opened up. This year he knows he's going to be one of those guys that we depend on all the time. So far he's accepted the role and accepted that challenge."

Handing the ball off to battle will be Terrance Cooper and Rico Shumpert, the two splitting minutes at quarterback last year with both able to work from the pocket or be effective running the ball. Cooper finishing the year with 800 yards rushing. Coach Slater saying it benefits the team to have two battle tested QB's. "The thing for us is that we have two kids there so if one of them goes down the other one has been thrown to the fire too. So right now they're just battling neck and neck with each other trying to win that starting position. It's good for competition because if someone goes down than the other one has been tested."

Rico Shumpert says the competition is a good thing, "We're both competing for the spot but regardless of who gets the spot we're still going to play together. We won't argue about it. We're going to get reps at it and get better."

Terrance Cooper says no matter what happens and who gets the starting job, "We're going to keep working hard. I'm going to compete. He's going to compete and we're just going to get better."

The Huskies open the season on August 30 by travelling to Bowie to face the Jackrabbits. Coach Slater saying it's important for this team to get off to a fast start, but that he saw good things on both sides of the ball in the Huskies' first scrimmage.

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