In August, during a sweltering two-a-day practice, Coach Jerry Hughes set down the megaphone for a moment to predict the season with the Key West Weekly.
His outlook was so grim we had to say, “We can’t print this stuff! We have to keep it positive. Do you want to be hung from the goal post?”
We were at the start of the school year. The temperatures and humidity stifling, especially for our young men having to suit up and hit the weights in preparation for the 2009 season.
Hughes saying, “The only thing that can change their attitudes is an air-conditioned dome.”
This week, there isn’t any sweat dripping from his brows and he’s able to relish in a winning season.
“That was our goal. To win more than we lost. I anticipated going farther. We ended the year 6-3, and it was a great year for us, beating Dade County.”
Hughes purposely schedules tougher teams, so his athletes know where they stand.
“They came around and saved it to the last game of the year.”
Now the focus is two-fold.
1.) Make sure guys, like Sohi, secure a spot in college.
2.) Make the grades. Returning players must be eligible for spring training.
After that, all eyes are on 2010.
“We’ll continue to do it like we’ve done it before with strong discipline, conditioning, and academically getting the job done in the classroom.”