It's a tough process to build a football program. The Hornets of Grand Lake have found that out in the team's first four years of existence.
"We have consistently increased our wins each and every year," said head coach Chad Lavergne. "Our kids are starting to learn the game and play a lot more physical, it's just that we half to find a way to finish strong and finish healthy."
Last year was a season of building blocks for Grand Lake. Despite a 4-7 record, the Hornets were competitive.
"Previous years like the first and second year, when we did lose, we lost by 30 or 40 points. Last year, we were actually fighting in those games," admitted center Seth Trahan. "When you get more competitive games and you're closer in the score, that's when you know your program is becoming more successful."
"Four wins is not where we want to be, but it's obviously better than 1–9 or 0-10," said Lavergne. "We are competing, and teams are having to game plan us and play four quarters to beat us."
As Grand Lake learns to close out games, the wins will come. Having 15 starters back from the best team in program history, is certainly a start.
"A lot of returning starters have been there, and they understand it takes for quarters to play and they understand the importance of turnovers in a game," Lavergne said. "Our goal is to compete each and every game and win a playoff game."
The Hornets look to be buzzing on offense with the return of quarterback Kade Delcambre. His emergence a year ago helped carry this offense.
"Kade has grown in the last few years. When he first started, he was a lot more shy, and wasn't taking control of the offense," Trahan said. "But as we've seen this year and in our scrimmage last week, Kade is really taking control of the team and now we're getting better as a unit."
"Delcambre did a great job for us in his first year quarterback last year. He settled down and seemed like a seasoned veteran at quarterback by mid-season," Lavergne said. "He's picked up stride this year and he's even more comfortable."
Delcambre will be joined in the backfield by the jack-of-all-trades, Thomas Delaney.
"He's played almost every position on the field. From center, to tackle, to tight end and this year, he is at fullback. He has played defensive end, linebacker and even some cornerback one year," Lavergne said. "That's a guy that has experience at every position."
"You get to learn the game of football a lot better than if you were just play one position," said Delaney. "You learn every position and get to know what everyone is supposed to be doing. It makes you a better player."
The defense meanwhile will lean on linebackers Ethan Williams and Aaron Young to set the tone. The Hornets will be leaning on that experience to achieve their goal, winning a playoff game.
"We want more than that. We figure we can host a game, and when you're hosting a game, you're favorite to win, Lavergne said. "That's where we want to be."
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