HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — Episode 22 of On the Road with Olivia and Claudia features two Huntsville City schools.
Starting with the Lee Generals, who finished with a 3-7 overall record in 2022.
The Generals were young last season but now they have some more experience under their belts with a lot of returners this year. Head coach Irving McGuire says this is a tight-knit group, that embodies the family spirit, which makes it a lot easier to fight for each other on the field on Friday nights.
“We created a leadership council and they came up with the mantra ‘dog ten toes down, never backing down’ and I saw that all summer,” McGuire said. “They put in work on the field and in the weight room in a way I haven’t seen in a long time, and these guys have just put in the work.”
McGuire says his group is working like they’re hungry for wins, scholarships and the playoffs – and McGuire believes this group has what it takes to make it back to the postseason this year.
“We were young last year and they had to learn how to win games, as opposed to losing them, and me as a coach I had to grow and learn how to put them in better positions to be successful especially late in games. So this group right here, they’ve tried and tested and I think they’re ready for the playoffs,” McGuire said.
Up next, we have the Mae Jemison Jaguars who didn’t find the win column in 2022 and first-year head coach Rico White says that’s made his group want to fight even harder for victory in 2023.
A big change that White has tried to make to the program since taking over is simply shifting the group’s mindset.
“Make them understand the difference between preparing and work,” White said. “Don’t think I’m just working you or punishing you – it’s preparing. We’re trying to get ready for a season and they understand that. Also, to love each other. You’re getting ready to go to war so you need to love the guy next to you, so we love each other and we keep stressing that.”
Taking over a program that was winless last season is no easy task, but White says this program was attractive to him and he’s excited for the opportunity to lead this group of young men this fall.
“You have great athletes, you have great kids, but they just need that structure and discipline and someone that believes in them, loves them,’ White said. “Learn to love each other, let’s play together and have success, and that’s been great coming here and having that.”
The Generals are hosting Westminster Christian on Friday, August 25 at Milton Frank Stadium; the Jags will travel to Decatur.