Though the Long County High School football team didn’t win any games this year, coach Ron Flott said his team has plenty to be proud of.
“Man, I learned a lot about these kids. They’re resilient — they compete every week and play hard. They have a desire to be good and they’re going to keep getting better,” Flott said.
The Tide were young this year and that youth should pay major dividends next year, since many of the underclassmen will be juniors and senior next season.
“This year, we had good folks in all areas of our team, and most of them will be coming back next year. They got better as the year went on, and next year our program will be better as a result of this,” Flott said.
Though he believes the program will be better in 2012, he is not naïve about an area that the team must improve in.
“It all starts with the offensive and defensive lines. If you are going to compete, you have to have some success there. Next year we do have some good kids coming back, and we are going to do all we can to help them get better during the offseason,” he said.
Flott said he wants his players to continue their leadership during the offseason and carry it into next season.
“Jeffery (Hall) was a very vocal leader on the defense, and Jacob (Turner) was on the offense. We also had some leaders like Luke Golden, who just brought his lunch to work every day and led by example, and others like Vanda Vareen, who got hurt but played through his injuries, demonstrating toughness. … These guys will be back, and I want them to continue to do what they did this year,” Flott said.
Flott also had praise for others.
“I want to thank the administration, the parents, the community, the churches and especially the booster club and our athletic director, Karen Swindell. They made it easy on me, and all I had to do was coach football,” he said.
“I couldn’t have asked for better support this year. People bought into what we were trying to do — not just the football, but the other stuff that’s important, (such as) making sure the kids did right in school. If they needed tutors, we helped them. If they needed discipline for missing practice or something else, we kept them out of games,” Flott said. “The football takes care of itself, but we’re all about building young men into winners in all aspects of their life.”