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2013 Fall Sports Preview: Hornets make big changes under new head coach
East Central quarterback Jeremy Jones escapes the Tiger defense during a scrimmage Aug. 23 at Hornet Stadium.
EAST CENTRAL -- There is a new coach, a new attitude, and a new game plan at East Central this year. And if you are a football fan, you might want to “show up early, stay late, and be loud.”
Head Coach Clinton Hartman took over in February, and has spent the last six months preparing for this season. The intensely motivated coach comes to East Central from Clear Springs, but is actually a local boy -- a 1993 graduate of East Central High School.
For Hartman, the return to East Central is a lifelong goal of his. Like most in the coaching business, Hartman has bounced around over the course of his career, but he is thrilled to be back home at East Central.
Hartman describes his approach as “full speed ahead,” and that became evident to everyone around him. He came in and changed around the weight room on his first day, and sees change as a means to getting better.
While change has come to East Central, Hartman says he isn’t changing his ways too much. He has what he believes to be a proven product and way of doing things, and is quickly bringing the guys around to his way of thinking.
Perhaps the biggest change that fans in Hornet Nation will see is the pace of his offense. While East Central has been quite run-heavy in the past, Hartman moves the Hornets to a spread offense.
“We run a speed, hurry, no-huddle offense,” he said. “We will go as fast as they let us.”
This style has caught on at all levels of football, and college fans have seen its success by way of the Oregon Ducks and Texas A&M Aggies. Hartman said he has run the system for years, and has always found success. The kids are excited about the new style, as well, and have taken quickly to Hartman’s brand of football.
Hartman said his team’s greatest strength lies in its senior leadership, and confirmed that he could have 11 senior starters on defense when the Hornets take to the field to start their season.
“We have lots of good players on both sides of the ball,” Hartman said. “They have all bought into the system and they are working hard.”
If there is anything that has him worried, it would be the kicking game.
“We have to solidify the kicking game,” Hartman said. “Finding a dominant kicker is always important.”
Hartman has several goals he believes are important. First and foremost is for him to take care of the kids. He understands that to be his responsibility, and he takes it quite seriously. Secondly, Hartman wants to see the Hornets win a district championship. From there, the goal is a state championship, and he believes he can help the Hornets make that happen.
To help the Black and Gold reach these goals, Hartman believes his team needs to take the right steps and pay attention to the details.
“The difference in being good and great is in the little things,” he said.
The Hornets have several players with the potential for greatness, and Hartman was quick to point them out.
Defensively, Caid Franckowiak immediately came to mind as he works out of his safety position. Dennis Chavez is likely to have a great year at linebacker, and Russell Brown is as solid as they come at corner. Jeremy Chamberlain had a good offseason, too, and should help anchor the defensive line.
On offense, quarterback Jeremy Jones is working hard and is motivated to work out of Hartman’s new system. Johnathan Jackson and Javion Polk both had great seasons in 2012, and Hartman is expecting big things from both of these talented backs. Wanya Ward has also shown his ability to make big plays, and Hartman is excited about his potential in the Hornets’ new system.
“Of course without the offensive line, we wouldn’t be any good,” Hartman quickly added, giving credit to Fabian Mata, Clayton Walleck, and all the guys standing up front.
However the 2013 season goes, one thing is certain: The Hornets will look different than in years past. They should be exciting to watch, and the pace may make it difficult for fans to leave their seats.
Hartman and his Hornets kick off their new season this Friday, Aug. 30, as the team hosts the John Jay Mustangs at Hornet Stadium. Game time is set for 7:30 p.m.
East Central Football
1 Wanya Ward
2 Kyle Tupper
3 Javion Polk
4 Dallas Polasek
6 Kody Ramon
9 Ricardo Cortez
10 Joseph Gutierrez
11 Colin Padalecki
12 Hunter Shadrock
13 Johnathan Jackson
14 Russell Brown
16 Jeremy Jones
18 Dalton Steele
20 Caid Franckowiak
21 Derek Butler
22 Jarett Moreno
25 Kaylon Hopkins
30 Miezell Price
32 Dennis Chavez
34 Colton Chamberlain
37 Michael Sanchez
40 Mattew Ritch
43 Austin Allen
44 Dalton Tarr
49 Michael Torres
49 Roy Mora
50 Jeremy Chamberlain
51 Wyatt McDonald
54 Brady Simpson
55 Adolph Mendoza
56 Johnathan McPeters
60 Dylon Gomez
61 Rojelio Chavera
64 Adam Rakowicz
65 Daniel Deleon
66 Blake Nicholson
68 Alec Gonzales
70 Clayton Walleck
73 Isidro Diaz
74 Mike Rico
75 Fabian Mata
76 Michael Trevino
77 Tyler Cagle
79 Emilio Sanchez
80 Dalton Zigmond
86 David Flores
88 Kyle Lamey
98 Joshua Rangel
99 Caesar Soto
East Central Varsity Football
Date Opponent Location Time
Aug. 30 John Jay Home 7:30
Sept. 6 John Marshall San Antonio 7:30
Sept. 12 Brennan San Antonio 7
Sept. 20 Judson Home 7:30
Sept. 27 New Braunfels New Braunfels 7:30
Oct. 11 CC Carroll Home 7:30
Oct. 18 Southwest Southwest 7:30
Oct. 25 Steele Home 7:30
Nov. 1 South San South San 7:30
Nov. 8 CC King Home 7:30
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