Arrow pointing up as Dragons complete mini-camp
Building a winning football program takes time.
Warren has been their in the past, and they are looking to do so again.
The Dragons, under the direction of second year head coach Mark Morelli, completed their three day mini-camp on Thursday, with positive results.
“Like I told the kids, the arrow is pointing up,” Morelli said following Thursday’s practice. “We’ve had six practices since March and they’ve been well-attended. We’re looking at around 50-60 kids, so the numbers are good. The work ethic in the weight room is improved. The attitude is a big thing we’re working on. Our mantra is ‘it’s the will, not the skill.'”
It’s a team that went just 2-8 a year ago, but was in a number of games late. More often than not, they were unable to close those games out, but the coaching staff believes that will come.
They are certainly working hard in the offseason to make sure it does.
“It’s slowly coming around,” Morelli said. “We just have to keep pushing. I think once the kids have some success, their confidence will skyrocket. We were competitive last year. We were 2-8, but at the same time could have been 5-5 had we been able to make some big plays on defense, and we didn’t do that. That’s a point of emphasis for this year.”
The Dragons have been very busy, and will be this summer as well.
They will bring in coaches from Mercyhurst University on June 21 to work with their quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers, this after bringing in members of the Edinboro coaching staff to work with the lineman last summer.
They will also be taking a trip to Latrobe for Steelers’ training camp. They also took a trip to State College this spring for one of Penn State’s spring practices.
This, in addition to a busy 7-on-7 schedule on tap.
“The summer is pretty well scheduled out,” Morelli said. “It’s good to spice things up and not keep doing the same things over and over again.”
Overall, the coaching staff is pleased with the state of the program heading into the summer.
“The kids seem to be picking things up a lot better this year than last year,” he said. “The first year, I don’t care what sport you’re coaching, is always the hardest. The second year, things start to get easier. The big things we’re pleased with as a coaching staff is that we have a sense of our strong points and the things we have to work on.”
And, Morelli emphasized the door is always open for new players.
He also stressed the success of the co-op with Youngsville, which is slated to dissolve after the 2019 season, pending school board approval. Those kids from Youngsville would play for Eisenhower under the current proposal.
“The Youngsville kids are fully integrated and part of the Warren program and we are much more settled this year,” noted Morelli. “A lot of the credit goes to the coaching staff. They have put the time into meeting the kids, cultivating relationships and building friendship and trust. It is our hope that the Warren County School District sees how well the transition has gone.”
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Morelli also emphasized he and his staff’s appreciation for what the Grid Club has been doing, which has been a lot.
Those things include:
– Paying for all of the equipment upgrades last season and purchasing of additional equipment because of the co-op with Youngsville.
– The continued upgrading of equipment this season, as well as paying for the trip to State College and the upcoming trip to Latrobe.
– Picking up the tab for all participation fees.
– Morelli also noted the appreciation his entire coaching staff has for the Grid Club and expressed thanks for their continued support.