EARLY — New Early High School head football coach and athletic director Kent Hawthorne has been on the job for just three days, but is already implementing his system with hopes of returning the Longhorns to the playoffs for the first time since 2008.
“I’m burning the candle at both ends,” Hawthorne said Wednesday. “It’s a get up early, stay late job and I like that. We’ve got some work to do and I’m still trying to meet people, meet kids and evaluate coaches.”
Hawthorne — the former Refugio defensive coordinator who was hired on March 8 — stated he’s already examined game film from the last season, particularly the Cisco and Comfort contests.
“I wanted to look at Cisco since we get them right off the bat,” Hawthorne said. “They did some things right, but they were just overwhelmed. Cisco had some great football players. I also watched the last game of the year to see how they progressed by the Comfort game. They moved the ball up and down the field, they just fell apart in the red zone.”
A new offseason program began with Hawthorne’s arrival on Monday, but the new head coach stated the changes aren’t that significant.
“We’re going to change things a little, but nothing big,” Hawthorne said. “The kids have worked hard, but I can bring some things from camps and clinics. I’ve got two kids playing college ball and I study everything they do. Earlier today we were watching Don Beebe speed videos and that’s something we’re going to start implementing. We’re also going to go old school and pull tires, lift tires, swing on ropes and get dirty. We have to build better athletes and get bigger, faster and stronger. We need to gain some confidence and swagger, and that comes from the weight room. We need to buy in and believe in ourselves.”
Hawthorne added that he likes the potential he’s seen both from the returning players and coaches
“We’ve got a good tailback coming back, some good linemen coming back, and they’re all hungry,” Hawthorne said. “They’re busting their humps and doing it with a smile on their face. We also have some great coaches here with some great experience and I plan to tap into that and utilize it.”