Hattiesburg High Football Team Faces New Challenge in Offseason - WHLT 22 Connecting the Pine Belt

Hattiesburg High Football Team Faces New Challenge in Offseason

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The Hattiesburg High School football team faces a new challenge this offseason.

The Tigers continue to push through the grind of offseason workouts underneath their stadium.

Their workout facility remains damaged from the February tornado, but that isn't stopping the players from giving 100 percent.

"Coach just told us we're not going to have anything decent right now because the tornado hit, but we're not going to let that set us back. We're just going to keep working hard," says senior kicker and punter Khalil Pope.

"It's not ideal, but we're pushing through it," says senior receiver and cornerback Emory Ireland.

First-year head coach Tony Vance took the job the day before the tornado hit.

Despite the circumstances, he's refusing to make excuses for the challenges at hand.

"At the end of the day everybody's got an excuse. Some people's excuses are better than others. But at the end of the day, all they are are excuses, and we're not going to have excuses."

Aside from an altered workout location, offseason training goes on business as usual.

The players are working on a variety of agility, speed and conditioning drills - things Emory Ireland says will take the team a long way on and off the field.

"We've got a good workout program that can help us get there, and better ourselves as a team and as a person."

Ireland says hard work now. . . Will pay off later.

"You feel like you're about to break. They're going to keep pushing you until you feel like you really are broken, and that's going to make you stronger. Fourth quarter come around, can't nobody break you."

Pope agrees.

"We understand that we have to work hard first, and the hard work will pay off in the end."

With an offseason of hard work and adversity ahead, Pope anticipates big things for the Tigers in 2013.

"We expect to be great this year."

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