Last year, the William Monroe Dragons had one of their best season in the last two decades. This year, they'll try to continue those winning
ways, but they'll have to do it with a lot of new faces on the field. "We push hard to meet the standards of last year," said sophomore running back Cody Perkins. "It's just hard work, and we come out here to do it."
After finishing 7-3 and reaching the playoffs in 2011, the Dragons say they are driven to work toward a repeat performance this fall. Senior wide receiver Dakwan Morris says, "I think it motivates the team a lot this year, coming off a winning season."
This year's team will be very different than last year's, after William Monroe graduated nine starters on both sides of the ball. With so many new faces in camp, coach Mark Sanford says the excitement level around the program is high, but his players know they have to channel that excitement into energy on the field.
"We just need to work hard every day and execute when we're out there on the game field," says Morris. Sanford says there's still a lot of work to be done. "We've got to get them more consistent. We'll have some guys that work like a champion one day and work like a chump the next. We've still got to get to the point where everybody's working hard every day."
The Dragons aren't just working to get back to the playoffs. They've set their sights much higher than that. Perkins says, "we need to stay focused on what we're trying to achieve, which is hopefully a state championship."