When thinking of 2019, Model High School Coach Jeff Hunnicutt refers to an old saying about automobiles; “You never want to spend more time looking in the rear view mirror than you do looking out of the windshield.”
Model started its season 0-3 before going 5-2 in region play to make the playoffs, falling in the first round. “We started 0-3 and never quit, but we have to remember how bad it felt, the game 11 loss at Bremen (the Blue Devils fell 17-0 that on November night), and we hopefully will build off of that and last season as a whole, to start this season with some early momentum,” he says.
As for the preparation and readiness for the 2020 season, Hunnicutt describes it as an adventurous time, since March anyway. “It is great having these kids back together,” he says. “This is what they needed, no doubt. To be back amongst this family we are building here at the school.”
The Blue Devils’ team leaders are taking their place, and the 2020 team has been building camaraderie. Model has some seniors that are experienced and using that to help their young teammates along. “Sam Silver, he is a very vocal leader,” Hunnicutt says. “Then, the guys on the offensive line are getting it and are taking leadership roles. They understand that we will win and lose games on the line of scrimmage. They are an experienced group. I like to know that I have seniors worth of experience on my offensive line.”
Hunnicutt wants to continue to build on the culture changes started in his first season at Model, with the same goals of taking pride in how things are done on and off the field and continuing to improve the players’ attitudes, character, and self-discipline. The top ways to do that are to perform well in the classroom and not be discipline problems. “We are going to continue to climb the ladder, trying to get to the next rung, and eventually taking off,” Hunnicutt says.