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Story Archives: Patriots see progress in 2009
|Patriots see progress in 2009|
Even though the final record of 3-7 might not show it too much, their is plenty of improving going on within the Franklin Parish football program.
After three seasons at the helm, head coach Barry Sebren sees his team improving in the classroom, the weight room, and making strides in games on Friday nights.
The 37-7 loss against the Ruston Bearcats last Thursday was yet another painful reminder that there is still much work to be done before the Patriots can get back into the Class 4A playoffs.
"After three years, I can not look around and just say we have not made any improvements," Barry Sebren said. "It all starts in the feeder schools and that has gotten better as well."
Sebren spear headed an effort to establish a pee wee football league in Winnsboro last year and the elementary and junior high football teams have made players more prepared to play at the high school level, Sebren believes.
"It is a mental aspect more than anything," Sebren said. "I need football players. If you are an athlete, go run track. To build a solid football program around here, we need football players and it is a mind set more than a physical one."
Sebren is not discounting the work that needs to be done during the summer months in the weight room to be able to compete with the physical play of teams such as Neville and Ruston who are now headed toward Class 4A playoff home games this Friday night out of the same district as the Patriots.
"We have to be more committed in the weight room when it is not the fall," Sebren said. "It can not be a mentality of 'see you next August'. It is like I told the players last week. The next season starts now. We have to get the community understanding that. It was not that way before I got here and people just don't understand that there kid needs to be working out in the summer. That is how you build a solid football program, not just what you do during the football season."
Franklin Parish schools have seen standardized test scores rise considerably the last couple of years, and the academic side is something Sebren is taking seriously when building up the football program for the Patriots.
"We have three defensive starters who will not be eligible next season because of the age limit," Sebren said. "We have made strides in Winnsboro in our test scores, but we are at a disadvantage because we are losing too many guys who cannot play their senior year."
A player cannot turn 19 years old before September 2 or he cannot play any sports at a school in the Louisiana High School Athletic Association.