#HSFT16: Stop No. 42 – Winston Academy Patriots

HEAD COACH: Andy Greening
Aug 19 Lamar School Away
Aug 26 Winona Christian Away
Sept 2 Benton Academy Home
Sept 9 Wayne Academy Home
Sept 16 Simpson Academy Away
Sept 23 Leake Academy* Home
Sept 30 Hartfield Academy Away
Oct 7 Heritage Academy* Home
Oct 14 Sylva Bay Academy Home
Oct 21 Starkville Academy* Away
*District games

LOUISVILLE, Miss. (WCBI) — It’s been four seasons since the Winston Academy Patriots have played a down of postseason football.

The nine seniors returning are looking for redemption.

“We had a really good defense, we just couldn’t finish on offense”, said senior center/defensive tackle Hunter Sanders, “this year we need to improve that as far as finishing blocks, giving our running backs a hole, they never had anywhere to run.”

“[The] biggest thing is to improve this year, winning season, make the playoffs and go from
there”, said senior middle linebacker/right guard Clark Graham.

After a difficult 2015 season where they team finished with a record of 1-9, the team looks to get back on track under new leadership.

Head coach Junior Graham is out after taking the job at Winona Christian, and now former assistant coach Andy Greening will lead the Patriots.

“I’ve been doing this a long time, to be honest, I never thought I would be a head coach
again in my career”, said Greening, “after coach Graham left, these boys needed some stability and I felt like I could give them that since I was here last year.”

Greening said the goal for this off-season is changing the mentality, saying “the mental part is what we’ve worked on the most this summer, in the weight room and the extra running, doing a little bit more than what they’ve probably been doing in the past.

“I felt like that was the thing that will get them over the hump mentally was the big thing.”

“He’s been really hard on us this year”, said Sanders, “we’ve been working hard on running and conditioning and working hard in the weight room, a lot harder than last year. It’s much more intense, we work out longer, we work out faster too, so we get more done.”

Greening said the team graduated two seniors from 2015, and almost the entire young team from a year ago returns for the 2016 season.

Another year older with more experience under their belts, Greening hopes this year’s team can bring Winston Academy back to its winning ways.

“That’s what I’ve tried to instill in these seniors, somebody here is going to have to
step up and get the ball rolling in the right direction and hopefully this group of
seniors can do that”, said Greening.

The Patriots start the season with back to back road games, beginning with a trip to Meridian against Lamar and then a showdown with former coach Graham and Winona Christian in week 2.

Categories: 2016, 60 in 60 2018, High School Sports, Local Sports

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