Recapping the 2011 WSN football season

Published 2:58 pm Monday, October 31, 2011

While the final seconds of 2011 season for the W.S. Neal Eagles were ticking off the clock Friday night at W.S. Neal Stadium to a 26-14 loss to rival T.R. Miller, the players showed emotion as they saw their season come to an end with a 1-9 record.
Behind them in the stands, Eagle fans celebrated. Not the loss that ended the season, but the fight their Eagles put into their final game on the field.
While the season ended with just one win in first-year head coach Doug Hoehn’s maiden season, there were improvements from just a year ago—a season that saw the Eagles go 0-10.
“I think if you look at numbers, it tells you how you have improved,” Hoehn said Monday as he recapped the season for the Eagles. “Numbers don’t tell you the whole story, but they tell you something.”
The numbers:
“If you look at last year’s team, they scored 133 points and this year we scored 173 points,” Hoehn said. “Last year’s team had a total of 2,031 yards of total offense and this year we had 3,256 yards of total offense. That is 325 yards per game. Last year they gave up 452 points and this year we gave up 340 points. So that is a 112 points different and we scored 40 more points. Last year, they gave up a total of 3,374 yards of defense and this year we were 970 yards less than that. Last year they finished with less than 30 players and this year we had more than 65 and that is a crucial stat. To build a team, you have to have kids playing. We had one kid on the team this year who had four years of football experience and that was Logan Williamson.”
Some more numbers:
“Last year they were shutout three times and this year we were not shutout at all,” Hoehn said. “Of course last year, they were 0-10 and this year we were 1-9. I think if you look at the overall stats, we improved vastly. Just not in the win-loss category. I think if you go back to this season, it was a big improvement on both sides of the ball. Turnovers and penalties is what kept us from having a different record other than 1-9.”
Hoehn said despite the one win this year, his team played extremely hard.
“They have done everything we asked them to do,” Hoehn said. “They just had so much to learn in a short amount of time. I expect a huge improvement next year. We only started three seniors. Stats don’t lie. The kids played hard and got better each week. It was not a lack of effort.”
Hoehn said his system is vastly different than what the Eagles have experienced in the past.
“We threw a lot at them,” Hoehn said. “We have young players. There were a lot of kids out there who have only played a year and just the mistakes we made and penalties and turnovers hurt. That is just like every program I have taken over. Every program I have taken over has been a rebuilding job and in the first year, I don’t know why, mistakes come out. The kids are working hard and trying so hard, but there is always a huge improvement in the second year and I expect that next year.”
Hoehn said the loss to T.R. Miller Friday night was tough, but both teams played with a lot of class.
“Both teams played hard and I think it is a great rivalry,” Hoehn said. “I like that it can be such an intense rivalry, but yet both programs show a lot of class and play hard. Our kids know their kids and that is the kind of rivalry you like. I look forward to playing this game every single year. Penalties and turnovers hurt us Friday night though.
As for next year, Hoehn said they would get right to work.
“Today (Monday) is an administrative day,” Hoehn said. “We will go over some things we have planned and we will start winter workouts tomorrow (Tuesday). Our focus during the off-season is to become bigger, faster and stronger. The kids did that a lot when I first got here and the weight program and conditioning program is something that kicks in in the second year. You see the effects the third year. It just takes the kids time to grow and become stronger. That will be a huge focus for us to concentrate on.”
Another focus Hoehn said is, between now and the first game, is he is going to stop the mistakes and all the turnovers will not occur next year.
“Also, our goal is to be a very aggressive football team,” Hoehn said. “We more aggressive in every game this year and we improved on that, but football is a sport that you have smash and hit someone in the mouth. Next year, I expect us to be a very physical football team and I like having very physical football teams. We are going to implement things in our training that is specifically going to address their mental toughness and help enhance and make them more physical on the football field.”

About Adam Robinson

My name is Adam Robinson and I have been the Sports Editor of the Brewton Standard since September 2007. I cover all the local sports in the Brewton area. I am a 2007 graduate of Troy University with a degree in Print Journalism with a contract in Sports Information. I married Shari Lynn in June of 2007 and we welcomed our first child, Hatlee, in April of 2010.

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