We kick off week two of our High School Training Camp Road Trip with a look at the Olney Cubs!
Second-year head coach Mark Young thinks his team is getting ready to turn a corner, and put to bed any more talk of their losing streak.
"Baptism through fire" was how junior quarterback Brent McCorkle described last season, his first as a varsity quarterback.
"You have to learn stuff," he said. "You have to learn how to be a leader, and how to overcome those kinds of obstacles."
Last year, those obstacles included a third head coach in three years, and the mental grind of watching a losing streak extend to 31 straight games, dating back to the second-to-last game of the 2011 season.
"They were 0 and 21 when I came in, we ended up 0-31," said Coach Young. "Not winning a game, and at any point in time, they could have said, 'Hey, this is my third AD in three years, and we're just gonna give up and just start fighting for ourselves,' and they didn't. They fought hard and they stayed with it."
Now, there are signs of progress for the Cubs, who believe the continuity this offseason puts them ahead of the game.
"We're a lot further ahead," said McCorkle. "It's not a new offense anymore, so we know what we're doing."
"Every year we've had to learn a new offense, new coaches and everything," said senior running back and linebacker Hunter Abston. "It's just nice having the same offense, not having to learn a new offense and everything."
Another boost is an influx of speed at wide receiver and running back, where the team has several players running the 40-yard dash in around 4.5 seconds or better.
"Last year, our skills positions, we weren't very fast, and we didn't have quite as much speed as we need to run this type of offense," said Coach Young. "This year, our backs and our receivers have good speed, so we're going to test the edges where we couldn't test them last year."
Another change for the Cubs sees last year's starting fullback, Drew McVicker, moving to the offensive line.
"Throughout the year, I've progressed, and gotten bigger and stronger," McVicker said. "And so, I haven't been as mobile as a running back. So, we needed strength on our o-line..."
Coach Young takes it from there: "Drew decided, about the second week of track season, that that's where he wanted to be, to do what's best for the team."
Now the Cubs are aiming to break through, and end their long losing streak.
"Our first focus it to beat Baird," said Coach Young. "And from there on, there's no telling what's going to happen if we get that first win."
"It all starts with a win," McVicker said. "And then once we get that first win, we'll be on fire and it'll boost our confidence."
"Coming off an 0-31 [streak], you know we've just got to win that one game," said Abston. "And after that, our next goal is to make playoffs."
The Cubs will get their first crack at that elusive victory on August 28th, when they host the Bears of Baird.