MONROE — A new era of Monroe High football is in operation.
Hornets first-year coach Bob Mullins said the early preseason has been filled with promise, hard work and excitement.
“For our program, the foundation will always be hard work and the kind of work we’re going to put in the weight room and out on the field with our agility training,” said Mullins, who took over the program this past December. “The kids have responded really well to our coaching staff and the expectations that we have for them each and everyday.
“People are excited about the changes and the whole new system that we’re putting into place,” added Mullins, who noted that the Hornets will utilize a triple-option offense and 50-slant defense. “We’re going to try and be tougher than people. We want to impose our will on the field. That’s our goal. We want to have a culture of hard work, mental and physical toughness.”
The Hornets are looking to bounce back from three-straight sub-par seasons. Monroe went 2-8 a year ago, 1-9 in 2017 and 3-7 in 2016.
The last time the Hornets reached the postseason was in 2014, when they fell to Clinton-Massie 49-7 in the opening round of the playoffs.
Mullins said the culture is going to change.
“We just want to get better everyday,” Mullins said. “We’re looking for a perfect effort everyday. If you can give us a perfect effort everyday, are bonding as a team and coming together, I think the hard work at the end of the day will speak for itself.”
Hornets senior TeJean Rice said the atmosphere in the weight room has been noticeably positive due to the system changes.
“I’m liking the vibe. This is something new for us,” Rice said. “It’s all coming together really well. I thought it was going to be a little difficult to come by, but it’s been very good.
“We’ve got a good coach that makes us accountable and wants us to be here,” Rice added. “It’s good to have that around here.
“The expectations in the weight room right now at least are to always be working and never be lacking,” Rice continued. “We always have to be doing something — that’s how we get better. Once you think we’re done, we’re not done. We can always do more to build ourselves and be ready for game expectations. We’ve got a good season coming up for us.”
Monroe kicks off the 2019 campaign at Edgewood on Friday, Aug. 30.
“Talking about the tradition of Monroe football — they’ve had success of winning here,” Mullins said. “There’s no better place to be than Monroe when the football team is doing well. We’re going to do everything on our end to try and get the program back to where it should be.”
Follow this reporter on Twitter @BCHSSReport. Chris Vogt can be reached at (513) 225-3274 or at info@BCHSSReport.com.