Q&A with Hawthorne Coach Ellis Walker
Published: Monday, August 12, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, August 9, 2013 at 7:53 p.m.
1. What are your expectations for the season?
“My expectations are for the kids just to play 100 percent. That's all, give me 100 percent. Win, lose or draw, at 100 percent you just can't ask for anything more.”
2. Tell us about some players you expect big things from this year.
“I'll start with our quarterback (Torres Williams). It's time for him to step up, which he's going to do, and be the leader of the team. He's the coach on the field. And he has some weapons with D'Kadrian Allen, Deandre Turner. We have the weapons but he's the general on the team. Wherever he goes, that's where the team's going to go.”
3. In what areas do you expect your team to improve most from last year?
“More commitment. And one thing they've done exceedingly well since the start of the summer: attitude. That's a big issue, and we don't have the attitudes. Everybody is playing at game-speed from the time we hit the field to the time we leave the field. The kids are buying into it and that's the key.”
4. Four years ago this team played in the state semifinals and last year had its first winless season in a long, long time. What has caused this and can it be turned around?
“It can be turned around. A school of our size, we have 85 athletes, and many of these athletes play more than one sport. You don't have to be 5-foot-10, 220 pounds to play football. A lot of them don't like the hard work, and football is hard work. It's a violent sport, and some, they don't want no part of that. We had some exceptional athletes when they went deep in the playoffs. Every so many years, you have that turnover. It was our time last year, but we're looking forward to the upcoming season, because the athletes we had that were freshmen back then, now they're stepping up to be seniors, so we're looking for some big things.”
5. You play three of your first four games of the season at home. How important is it to get off to a good start?
“It's paramount. They are hungry, and the spring game gave no indication of how good this team is, because we only had 18 players. You get two or three hurt, and that's it, stick a fork in you.”
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