WICHITA FALLS - Embrace the grind. That's the motto for the 2017 Hirschi Huskies.
With the Wichita Falls Independent School District starting school earlier this year having a full practice after school is a major grind.
"It's been different, and we told the kids it was going to be different," Head Coach Danny Youngs said. "Just embrace it, it's there. And if you want to be good, you have to get after it every single day."
The Huskies went 6-5 last year, after going 2-8 in 2014, and 0-10 in 2015.
"Those guys never lost faith in what we preached to them," Youngs said. "And that basically was, you have a choice every day to be the man you want to be. And they made the choice to be good athletes, good football players, and good young men. You know we went 6-5 last year and we let a couple get away from us and we have high expectations of ourselves this year. We want to build on last year's success, but like we tell them we got to go back and go to work."
The big changes the players and coaches want to see are mental ones.
"We had a lot of mental mistakes, had a lot of things we get coached, but in the games, we tend not to focus and do what we're taught," Quarterback Mar'tez Vrana said.
"Smarter, we preach it everyday. We got to be smarter," Youngs said. "You finish games by not losing it between the ears in the third and fourth quarters or late in the fourth. You got to stay disciplined, you've got to do the things you've done in practice. That's why we tell them when it gets hot, at the end of practice and we're about to finish off a team session. You got to embrace the grind, you got to finish it off, you go to battle to the end. But you always got to keep this, you got to keep your senses and you got to know your offense and your defensive play that was called, then you have to go out there and execute it. That's what the great teams do."
The Huskies are losing star Runningback Roman Turner, his 1600 rushing yards and 20 touchdowns.
They, however, do have Mar'tez Vrana taking the snaps again this year and he says he's going to do what it takes to get his team further this year.
"Our coach always tells us, we have the choice everyday to be the man we want to be," Vrana said. "I want to be that man that'll lead us there. I want to make my decisions from what my coaches taught me and use it on the field and I believe that's going to help us get far and where we want to go."
Which is hopefully to have another winning season.
"I don't really judge a season by wins and losses," Youngs said. "I judge it by at the very end of the season, were we playing our best football and did somebody better than us, beat us. If you get beat by somebody better than you on a Friday night or Saturday night in the playoffs, you can go shake their hand. We don't just don't want to lose somebody we don't think is better than us."
Ranger College defeated Vernon College 3-2 in game 1 and 7-5 in game 2.