Photos Andy Calvert

“We have a lot of experience,” Hurst says. “I look at it and it’s scary and exciting. We have about nine seniors on defense and about another eight on offense. We are an experienced bunch and these guys have been playing a lot going back to when they were freshmen.” 

Hurst has been incredibly pleased with his players’ physical conditions since they returned. “I am really impressed with how the kids came back in shape,” he says. “It says a lot about them and speaks to how hard they have worked despite the stoppage. We did stay in communication with them and gave them workouts that they could do at home, but I am just impressed with how much they have come back in shape. That is a great sign of a veteran bunch and guys that know that had they not done that, they would be way behind.”

High school seniors across the county have had the extra weight of knowing that this is their last year of high school whether the game is played or not. “We tell them control what you can control,” Hurst says. “That is all we have talked about since starting back up. The seniors have been good about taking the changes that have come. Now, they have been disappointed about the delays and losing scrimmages, because goal number one is to play, no matter who it is or when it is. The kids just want to be able to play and have some sort of season to give them some normalcy that they or no one has had in the last few months.” 

As a team, the Dragons are ready to play. The younger guys have the examples to follow with an experienced core ahead of them. Hurst says everyone is ready to go. “Mentally, they have been good and focused when they are out here and doing the things I’ve asked to stay healthy and stay out here,” he says. “When I look at our younger guys, they are looking at our seniors and seeing them do it the right way and working hard every day. Some seniors are vocal, some aren’t. You do not always have to be vocal, I say that all the time, for people to see what you’re doing and how you’re doing it. They are doing everything the right way and the young guys are falling right in behind them.”