Head coach Andre Slappey is in his third year as the head coach for Kendrick Cherokees. In these summer workouts he’s witnessing his players attack these voluntary workouts in a new way.
“The guys they’re coming out and working hard it’s promising to see that and to know that we have a lot of youn guys and they’re showing up everyday and they’re working hard. I’m liking what I’m seeing right now,” said Coach Slappey.
The 2020 Cherokees understand their football team has been overlooked these past few seasons. To change that kind of reputation the players and coaches needed to change the culture. That kind of change starts with a new attitude that based in accountability and hard work.
“These guys make me happy to come out here every day and work. I’m just happy to be with my brothers. Like they push me every day. They make me a better player. They make sure that I don’t let them down and I make sure they don’t let me down. We just come out here and work hard together, and we just depend on each other,” said senior lineman Demari Shingles.
“If somebody needs help we help them. If somebody is a little bit behind we help them too. We attack everything from grades to school we just do what we have to do out here,” said sophomore free safety Lemmon Turner Jr.
The Cherokees will have a young team for the 2020 season. Kendrick will only have four seniors on the roster. The younger players have already embraced the new Cherokee mindset, because this team’s bond is built on respect.
“Last year I was a freshman and I started varsity. I was like I don’t know what you guys do in high school but they showed me the love and the respect of one of them. It’s got better since then. Everybody love each other. Everybody want to play. They don’t want to fool around or nothing,” said Turner.
When it comes to what Kendrick’s on the field game plan the Cherokees believe their strength will be in the trenches. Coach Slappey, a former defensive lineman at Albany State, wants his big boys to strong and fast.
“It’s important. I like my big men be able to move, because if you have a group guys that’s moving well and working hard then you always have a chance,” said Coach Slappey.
The men battling in the trenches know how important speed can be when game time rolls around.
“If you’re a big man with some speed you can do something. If got some speed and agility on you, you can do something. If you can move as a big man it will make the game so much easier. Because you can go around them, throw them do whatever you want to do,” said Shingles.
Kendrick is scheduled to start their season against Terrell County on August 21st.