Great athletes certainly help you win football games, but often their bad attitudes take away from the collective synergism of the team.
That scenario fractured Denver Cromer's third season at North Myrtle Beach last year, when the program's standout seniors, coming off a region title in 2006, spent more time worrying about ``me'' instead of ``we.''
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Determined to make sure another year wasn't wasted, Cromer and his staff are holding their players more accountable for their on- and off-field actions, something he hopes will result in more wins.
``We've been a little more demanding on kids as far as character and their expectations,'' Cromer said. ``We've got a great group of kids right now. I'm very pleased with who we have. They've been really good as far as their working together. I think we can be a really, really good team.''
Senior quarterback Daniel Smith said it's been great to see a team that isn't at odds with each other.
``The main problems were the seniors we had last year,'' he said. ``It's refreshing to get rid of them. Everybody gets along now. We're more of a team. The whole meaning of teamwork . . . I think we have that. That's what you need to win football games.''
North Myrtle Beach made offseason changes to its offensive and defensive schemes. With the accurate Smith entering his second year as a starter, the Chiefs will spread the field and throw a little more, a move partly necessitated by the loss of their four leading rushers from 2007.
The defense will still be based out of the 4-3, but new coordinator Brian Neal, who was the head coach at Ninety Six last season, has installed a new system for a defense that will rely on eight new starters.
``[Neal] has been very impressive to the kids and the coaches,'' Cromer said. ``I think we'll be OK on defense. We have some good players on defense, they just didn't play either the same position as last year or they were junior varsity guys or backups.''