High school football: Coach Shannon Watford brings new personality to Purcell
When former Hennessey coach Shannon Watford took over at Purcell, his players could sense the difference immediately.
PURCELL — Erik Gonzalez and Nathan Schmidt could tell the difference immediately.
When Shannon Watford took over at Purcell this season after winning two consecutive titles at Hennessey, Watford brought the Dragons a different personality.
Videoview all videos
Aug 7Luther High School football players work out on the...
Aug 7The oppressive heat Tuesday didn't seem to bother the...
Aug 7Ryan Aber and Mike Sherman discuss how high school...
Aug 7Ryan Aber and Mike Sherman discuss the recent transfer of...
Photoview all 19 photos
NewsOK Related Articles
“It's completely, entirely different,” Gonzalez said. “The terminology is different but it's also more strict.”
It took some getting used to for the Dragons, who went 9-2 last season but ended the season with a disappointing first-round loss.
“It wasn't easy,” Gonzalez said. “But everybody's ready for the change now.”
Tuesday, Gonzalez and Schmidt were among the approximately 70 players who went through their opening practice.
Even on Day 1, Watford was demanding, switching players when he felt the effort wasn't there and sending players off to the side for corrective conditioning for certain mistakes.
“We really want to practice with intensity even on the first day,” Watford said. “You want them to learn how to focus when you're tired. It's about acquiring mental toughness.”
When Watford started at Hennessey, the Eagles were a struggling program just scraping to get wins.
Purcell is in much better shape.
“This is a team that wants more than just the playoffs,” Watford said. “This team has won before. We're just going to win a different way now. Sometimes that'll come easy and sometimes it's a little harder.”
Watford said his recent success has helped players buy in quicker.
Sports Photo Galleriesview all
- 19883Oklahoma medical examiner reports cause of deaths in Grand Lake boat crash
- 16750Oklahoma City Thunder: Amnesty Kendrick Perkins?
- 12000Rx drug bills sent to Oklahoma governor
- 11023Rockets guard Patrick Beverley bombarded with hateful Tweets after Thunder get eliminated
- 8434Report: OSU blocking Wes Lunt from transferring to the SEC, Big 12 and Southern Miss
- 8422Tulsa man tells police he smashed woman's head with machete in self-defense
- 7521Oklahoma football: Sooners get pair of commitments