COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - The Northside Patriots have been more than ready to get going under a brand new head coach.
Andrew Oropeza took over the program over the winter, but with the cancellation of spring practice and then school getting scrubbed, he didn’t get a chance to actually get on the field with his guys until this week. But, he says, the delay isn’t that big of a problem.
“We got here in January and we were fortunate to get the weight room established and the guys really bought into that,” Oropeza said. “I think that was the biggest key, and then with the extended break, keeping in contact with the coaches and players and motivating them and remaining positive until we were able to start back.”
Another thing Oropeza is enjoying is the buy-in from the team.
“Their eagerness to be part of something and their eagerness to work hard, I think that is what I like the most about this group.”
The Patriots are looking to make a big turnaround. It’s been two years since they made the playoffs, and last year was a real slog at 1-9. Oropeza is emphasizing having the right attitude as the key to getting things going the right way.
“It’s just having a mindset of coming to work every day and working hard, and paying attention, and caring about one another, and getting this thing going in a positive direction. We’ve already shown progress from Day One. I just think continuing, like I said, of having that mindset of coming to work every day. If we’re conditioning, we’re giving the best of our ability in the moment that we have, and then we’re talking about football and we’re paying attention and learning as we can.”
The Patriots are scheduled to open the season on Friday, August 21, when they host the Columbus Blue Devils at Kinnett Stadium.