HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — As we gear up for the high school football season, News 19 will be previewing more than 40 of our Tennessee Valley programs in On the Road with Olivia and Claudia.
Episode 19 features the Lee Generals and Mae Jemison Jaguars.
It’s year two for Irving McGuire as the man in charge. He said this year his guys have really bought in and now they’re looking to expand on last year’s 5-5 regular season record and first-round playoff appearance.
“This group is starting to grab onto my personality and I really do like that in them and they’re going to be able to compete and do things the way we feel like they should be done,” McGuire said.
This year McGuire says they bring back some returners but also some guys who didn’t get a ton of playing time on Friday nights. So this summer Lee participated in some 7-on-7s to help the younger guys get more experience.
“We’re still strong on the offensive line which I really do like and I like our skill guys to come in. They didn’t get a whole lot of playing time last year but they’ve shown in these competitions that they’re willing to compete and they can execute what we’re trying to do,” McGuire added.
So now for year two leading the Generals, what’s McGuire’s message going into week zero?
“When you’re starting out trying to change a program, you find ways to lose and we’re trying to find ways to win. We’re still trying to build on that 1-0 mentality whether you get beat, whether you win, it’s all about the next play, it’s all about just winning that rep and moving on to the next play and once they’re able to do that, they’re able to play with their minds free and able to execute,” McGuire said.
Stop number two is at Mae Jemison High School where the Jaguars are coming off of a 2-win season with a very young core.
“A lot of these guys got the opportunity to get on the field last year so we are using that as a motivating plus for the program right now,” Head Coach Harold Wells said.
The Jaguars bring back five returners on each side of the ball. Although they only have a handful of seniors, Coach Wells says they’ll be relying on their younger guys who got some good experience last year.
“We should really be strong on the defensive front, we’ve got two returners there, and offensive line we’ve got three returning guys and we’ve got pretty decent running backs. We’ve got a lot of holes to fill but I think the guys who are in the position are just about ready to make a dent in our program,” Wells added.
Wells added that the youth in the program excites him and he believes it is something that can help build a winning culture at Jemison.
“They’re young, and their future is ahead of them. They bring youth and excitement to the program, which we need. It’s just going to take a while, we’re in a growing stage right now. We’re trying to get back the old tradition of winning football right here at Mae Jemison High School,” Wells said.
The Jaguars will open hosting Decatur on Friday while the Generals will visit Westminster Christian.