WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - Our high school football previews continue as we stop at Harrison and check in with Head Coach Tony Martin and the Raiders and then head to Frontier to catch up with Don Coller and the Falcons.
Harrison is coming off a winless 2011 season that was a result of countless injuries and a lack of leadership from last year's senior class. That was then and this is now. The Raiders are wiping the slate clean and believe their depth and senior class will be strengths this season.
"One of the reasons we couldn't pull out wins last year is we didn't have any leadership, everyone wanted to do their own thing but since we have some leadership this year they can pull all of us together and we can do something special and win some games," said junior Drezden Johnson.
The Raiders put the pads on in practice for the first time Wednesday afternoon and had a rather spirited practice. Physicality and understanding who they are and what they are playing for is key to their success this season.
"We are playing for Harrison High School and we are playing for each other. We are not playing as individuals. That has really been a positive this off-season and now out on the field. We are playing together and they are counting on each other and they have each others back. They also enjoy being out here as well, which helps a lot," said head coach Tony Martin.
As for the Frontier Falcons, 2012 is a fresh start for a program that played most of last season without enough players to practice let alone play in games on Friday nights. Thirty student athletes are out for this years team which is an encouraging sign considering where they started a season ago.
The Falcons ended the 2011 season with a 42-36 loss against North White in the first round of sectionals. Frontier scored 14 more points in that game then they did all of last season going into the State Tournament. Momentum that coach Coller and the Falcons hope to use as they prepare for the upcoming season.
"It's good to get back out with the kids, we had a good summer and we had a lot of kids who were working out and trying to make an effort to change what they are trying to do to prepare to play this season. We are up from 21 to 22 last year to 29-30 kids and that is going to help us immensely. The kids are working harder, they have a better grasp of what we are trying to do mentally and a better grasp of what we are trying to do physically," said head coach Don Coller.
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Two Tippecanoe County Commissioners, Tom Murtaugh and David Byers, accepted positions with the state.