“The general consensus of the locker room at this time is to continue to do the same things that led us to this point and keep moving forward with a hungry attitude…” ~ Head Coach Kyle Sasser, Auburndale Bloodhounds
Auburndale, August 28, 2019- Happy Wednesday everybody. Last week, the boys in the royal blue and gold blew out Haines City, dominating with a 42-0 final. Looking ahead to the Bloodhounds’ Friday night faceoff, diving into an uncharted competition, we’re throwing some notable bullet points at you, courtesy of head coach Kyle Sasser. Here are some wise words and shared thoughts from Aubrundale’s former defensive coordinator, who’s now leading the chase in his first year.
“Last week’s game against Haines city was a team we’re well acquainted with. We have new staff for us and as do they, but we’re not far from them and the kids know each other going all the way back to pee-wee days. It’s a big win for us starting on a good note and it shows us what we can improve upon this week, too. Bayshore is the polar opposite of Haines, as we’ve never played them; it’s less familiar territory with a long trip ahead, so it will be exciting to see the progressions,” states head coach Kyle Sasser.
- Attitude: “I tell them you have to beat someone that’s better than you to grow, too. There are no trends to base either side of the game off so, for us, it’s about keeping new-found competition in the back of our minds and not underestimating. We had a great spring, summer, and offseason, but we have to transition that into this season and prove the hype. When things don’t go our way, we can’t fold for absurd reasons. That’s been the biggest change I’ve seen since February; I’m interested to see how they’ll react when they get punched in the face by a team and have the confidence to counteract.”
- Effort: “I love the consistency of effort that was displayed. We rotated a lot of players and nothing decreased. It was a big deal to witness guys coming out and going back in with the same energy and I thought it was tremendous. We bred that culture of competition, with no plays off and max effort because nobody’s safe- kids are competing for starting spots endlessly. Nothing’s guaranteed, just like the real world, so you can’t get too comfortable and more importantly, don’t let victory defeat you.”
- Repetition: “Evert day I tell them, it doesn’t matter what happened, the only important rep is the next rep. Once we get into that game, we have to have the concept of short memory. Can’t get hung up about a long run on our end or getting beat- have to be eyes front, looking ahead to the next item of business.”
- Tape Study: “We spent a lot of time on film and talking about spreading the ball around, and special teams amongst all things is also an aspect we can’t ignore. Our offensive player of the week didn’t play until the second quarter- it wasn’t anything bad on his part, it just wasn’t his time yet and he was totally okay with that. This understanding from everyone just goes back to the built competitive nature; letting them know we have a lot of capable weapons around us and not to squander your opportunity when you’re called upon.”
Overall, the Bloodhounds tallied 142 yards and 3TDs on the ground amongst all their running backs, nearly 100 yards in the receiving category with an endzone find, and senior QB Sabata Bridges went 9 for 10, throwing for 102 yards and a TD, accumulating an outstanding 152.9 QBR.
- Offseason dividends: “This week, we solidified that we established the run game. I’m interested to see if the Polk County 7v7 championship we won, will translate into real football- that’s a key point of the game. [Bayshore] is more pass-heavy than the two teams we faced these past two weeks (the first was preseason), and they have two good targets out wide, so again, I’m interested to see if our skills portrayed in summer will pay off. Another important factor this week is to translate the run blocking and our defense getting to their quarterback successfully. We tell them all the time, we have to play against variety so show up and execute no matter what. As our defensive line coach, Jamison Lee likes to say; don’t fear the stranger.”
Auburndale will take the trek down to Bayshore’s stomping grounds this Friday- kickoff at 7:30 p.m. Be there or be square ladies and gents.
Vaughan Sixbury, BCP Contributor