New Era Begins for Mohawk Football Program
A new day has dawned for the Piggott Mohawk football program, as former player and long time assistant Michael Harrell has taken over the top job. Harrell was named to the position earlier this summer, and in the weeks since has continued to prepare both his junior and senior high teams for the tough conference schedule at hand, assisted by Shawn Hearn.
"We came into summer workouts with 28 players, and we're moving into fall camp with 22, the heat has been turned-up," Harrell said of the regimen. "It's hard--to play the style of play we want to play, and the tempo we want to play it, it's hard, it's really hard work."
But, Harrell pointed to the aggressive workout schedule of the summer to the current conditioning of his players. "For eight or nine week we've had a strong workout program this summer--for the first time in a long time, then in July we turned it up with the camps, and went into seven-on-seven play," he explained. "Thanks to that we are a lot stronger and way ahead of the game conditioning-wise than where we normally are at this point."
Harrell also noted the squad is exhibiting more mental toughness, and again attributed their performances at the seven-on-seven events.
"It's been great to just turn these guys loose, they've been held back too much," he added. "It's really been fun to see them discover how much they can do, and they've made some really good showings against some of the top teams in our area."
And, despite the low numbers for the senior high squad Harrell is looking forward to good things. "We're going to be tough, but we're going to have to be smart about it," he explained. "We can't be beating each other up in practice."
On the brighter side, last year's eighth-grade dominated Junior Mohawk team will welcome back almost the entire roster. The young squad did a commendable job last season in conference play, and continued to show improvement throughout the season. They'll welcome back the bulk of that talent, and will be looking to contend for a conference title. The junior squad will open their season on the road at non-conference Westside on Thursday, Sept. 5. The following Thursday they'll play Paragould at Parker Field for their home opener and final non-conference game of the season.
Meanwhile, the Tribe will have their first chance to showcase their new offense on Friday, Sept. 5, as they'll travel to Marked Tree for a non-conference game with the Indians. The following Friday, Sept. 12, they'll open the home portion of the schedule against the Portageville Bulldogs at Parker Field.
The complete season preview may be found in a special section in the Aug. 27, edition of the CCTD.