By CAINE GARDNER
GREENCASTLE -- Coming off a 1-9 season a year ago, the Greencastle Tiger Cubs will have all eyes on them in 2010. First-year head coach Eric Davis will look to turn things around and so far, he's liked what he's seen from his team.
"Since I arrived in late June, the one thing that I've been very happy and impressed with is our kids ability to work and want to work," Davis said. "I've been very happy with participation in the summer and the work I've seen carry over into two-a-days has been very impressive as well. That's what I'm very happy with at this point."
Another thing working in Davis' favor is numbers. Most coaches struggle to get numbers, but as of now, Davis is sitting pretty in regards to players.
"Our numbers right now stand at approximately 64, plus or minus. I like those numbers. If we can hang in that 60, 65, 70 range, we can play three schedules and that's very important to us also to make sure every student athlete gets a chance to actually play in a game situation," he said.
Davis also noted that his biggest class is his sophomores as well as having a nice sized freshmen group.
"Our sophomore class is pretty large and our freshmen class has nice numbers. Overall, we've got a pretty good... not only are the numbers distributed relatively well, but also the balance of backs and linemen is pretty nice too. So that helps us in some respects," he said.
Surprises are something a new head coach seldom wants to experience, but for Davis the surprises that have met him at GHS have been pleasant in nature.
"I think our kids are hungry," Davis commented. "Not that I didn't expect to see that, but I've been impressed with their willingness to embrace learning and being coachable. That's been nice to see.
"We've had some leaders step up," he continued. "Tanner Parker, Jesse Vermillion has been real nice about positive leadership. Cody Duncan has really transformed during two-a-days into a nice leader as well. So those things have been pleasant surprises and nice to see kids taking ownership of the team."
Last season, Greencastle was a predominately option-style offense, but this year fans can expect to see a little of the old blended a new take on the offense.
"Prior to coming to Greencastle, I've been a run first philosophy regarding offense," Davis said. "Our kids have been in a passing system, so what's been really nice is the fact that while we still view ourselves as an option team, we're doing some things to also utilize the talents that have been developed throwing the football over the last few years with the prior staff.
"I really like our schemes and we've kind of adjusted the scheme to fit our kids and in that way it's going to be very interesting to see how this all comes together," he added.
Coming off a season with a single win might takes its toll on some teams, but according to Davis, the attitudes of his players have been great and should set the tone for the season.
"Our kids have been very positive and have great attitudes -- you can see it in everything they do," Davis said. "They've done a real nice job embracing a new system because that's tough. Learning the new system, a different style of coaching perhaps -- I think those things are hard for kids. That transformation of the team is sometimes tough for kids, but I think our kids have done a real nice job embracing it.
"Our kids are real excited about this season and that's a good thing," Davis concluded.