As expected, there were a number of players not pleased with the result of Winder-Barrow 30-14 home spring scrimmage against Jackson County on Thursday.
New head coach Robert Paxia had a strong message to his players to lift their spirits and give them hope after the game, believing that there are avenues to get better in the upcoming summer before the season.
“Anytime you get down and you get into situations that you're not used to being in, it's like quicksand,” Paxia said. “You're trying to do too much and trying to do everybody else's job but your own. It comes down to the discipline to make sure that you make the right decisions, the right read and the right play to execute technique wise to the fullest extent.”
“Right now, we’ve got a lot of seniors and we've got a long way to go.”
Paxia also recognizes that the team is fresh and will have to grow. The Bulldoggs’ spring scrimmage was their first game together under a new coaching regime.
“For a large portion in the spring, we were missing guys due to other sports and their success and we're extremely glad about that,” Paxia said. “Their success will eventually translate into our success with our guys knowing how to win.”
“Anytime you're putting in a brand new offense, especially one like ours, the more reps you get, the better you're going to be. We were just short on reps, that's all.”
A few mistakes against the Panthers cost the Bulldoggs a major deficit on the scoreboard. Big plays resulted in points on the opposite side of the scoreboard, and Paxia recognized and acknowledged that.
“Most football games boil down to five to seven football plays,” Paxia said. “Finding a way to capitalize on those five to seven advantages typically will turn the tide in the game. As a young team, we've got to figure out how to win those opportunities.”
This isn’t unfamiliar territory for Paxia. He lost a spring scrimmage in his previous tenure in Florida, but his team still ended up having a successful playoff run in the regular season. He plans to take some of that experience to help the new-look Bulldoggs to the next level over the next few months.
“It's like anything – we've got to trust the process,” Paxia said. “(My former team) was in a similar situation. We were a young team in the spring, and I had guys that had a lot of potential, which we have the same thing here (in Winder). We lost and had a really great summer, and we were able to correct a lot of those thing. We just got to do it (here) – it's not about being anybody other than us, and we've got to work here. We're still trying to learn a lot about us. So, we've got potential to do that and we just have to do it.”
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