Interview w/ Amory Panther's HC Pat Byrd

Jarrett Davis sat down with Pat Byrd, head coach of the Amory Panthers, before the season to get a look at how Coach Byrd was approaching the 09 campaign.

What do you hope to learn from the first game this season?
"We just want to see if we can progress from the spring."

What is the key to success this season?
"I think we have to keep down on injuries and get better from week to week."

Which guys are the heart of the team?
"Good question. I would have to say one would have to be Taylor Stasch. He has really become an emotional leader this year. Another one that has also shown himself as a leader is William Ezell."

How do you expect the restructuring of the football classification effect Amory and the school district?
"I think it is one of the toughest in the state. It has two state holders. But, it does no good to complain. It will be a tough one."

How will the Panthers' play in the second half of the season last year affect this year's team?
"You hope you have some carry over and come out strong. You have all new guys coming in, but mainly you just hope that you have some carry over from the year before."

How many returning starters do you have this year?
"Three offense and six defense."

How do the players prepare themselves for the upcoming game?
"They have had three weeks of practice. Let me give you a general schedule of our practice days. Monday is shorts and shoulder pads. Its an intro to the week. Tuesday is a two and a half hour practice. Tuesday is our work day for the week. Wednesday is shorts and shoulder pads again. We use it as our clean up day. Thursday is shirt and shorts. It is a short practice to clean up a little more. The majority of the work is done by Tuesday though."

Last year's saying was EPEP (Every Player Every Play). Do you have one for this year as well? "Yes. This year we used GOTTA. This stands for good of the team always. This means that the players must love the game, practicing, and playing harder."

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