PICKENS—There is only one thing on the minds of Pickens High football players and coaches this season. Redemption.
The Blue Flame hope to improve upon a season that only saw three victories in 2011-2012. Getting back, however, is going to require some hard work.
“Last year has been motivation for us,” said Pickens High head coach Chad Seaborn. “We don’t want to have a season like that again. Throughout the spring and summer our numbers have really been up, and we have been really pleased.”
Pickens opens their season against fierce rival Easley in the Food Fight Bowl, and Athletic Director Steve Corn says he couldn’t think of a better way to begin the road to redemption.
“Pickens and Easley is one the top rivalries in the nation,” said Corn. “It’s long standing. We’re neighbors, and we are still a small town environment and the communities still support our schools.”
“If someone doesn’t understand or believe (rivalry), tell them to be here next Friday night,” said Corn.
Off season workouts have played a huge role in Seaborn getting his players back on the right track.
“Our kids have been in the weight room working hard,” said Seaborn. “We’ve done several linemen camps and 7-on-7. I’ve been really pleased with the effort they’ve been putting in and I hope that we can build on this coming off a tough year. You would think our numbers and attitude would be down, but it hasn’t been that way.”
Seaborn says depth may just be his team’s biggest improvement
“We’re going to have a little more depth this year,” said Seaborn. “We won’t have as many guys playing both ways, and we should be able to get some good competition in all positions. Last year we were pretty thing, and low in numbers. So far, our depth has been good.”
The offense, however, has needed to be revamped this summer.
“So much of our offense is the option,” said Seaborn. “We lost our quarterback and our full back so we need to get our timing down. We’ve got some new faces in there, so we need to be better on offense and have a nastier attitude on defense. We’ve got to eliminate the big play on defense, and make teams earn their scores.”
Getting ready for another season can be complicated, and Corn says quite a few people have had a hand in producing another year of Pickens football.
“We have to make sure everyone is eligible, and when you’re looking at 100 kids, everything has to be documented and sent to the league so it’s very time consuming,” said Corn. “We also have to take care of ticket takers, security, booster club, officials, and concessions. There’s a lot that goes into it.”
As for the team, Seaborn says the goal is simple. Get better.
“All we want to do is get better each day,” said Seaborn. “If we can improve each day, and just take care of what we can take care of then I like where we’ll be at the end of the year. I don’t know how many wins that will be, or whether or not that will mean the playoffs, but our main objective is to get better each day. That’s not just on the football field, but in everything we do. We hope that will make them become better men and better football players.”
Corn says he expects a solid year if summer preparations have been any indication of what we will see on the field in 2012.
“I can promise you that no one works harder than our coaches and our kids to prepare themselves for success,” said Corn.