Ant Pruitt
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Carolina Hornets Update: October 12, 2014

Hello everyone. Here's the recent update about the Carolina Hornets Lil' League Football squad. As previously mentioned, I'm an assistant coach on the 11-12 year-old team. To date, your win/loss record is 2-3. Let me catch you up on our last two games as I hadn't updated you since. 

We went into our fourth game at 1-2 coming off a heartbreaking loss as well as losing one of our starters to a fractured kneecap. Now we have our first "home" game and the beginning of breast cancer awareness month (wearing pink). It was a fun game and tremendous effort was put forth. The team is slowly beginning to click. But we lose again in a heartbreaker 14-12.  A touchdown we had that would have put us ahead late was called back. Why? Hustling. Yes, hustling.

It was beautiful. The run was long as the linemen did a great job blocking. Unfortunately, one of my "project" kids decided to not only block the man in front of him, but run down field to block other defenders. Yes. That's great effort and shouldn't be penalized. Sadly, one of the guys he blocked was blocked from behind which is illegal. The kid had great intention, but that detail cost us the points. 

What I didn't mention is that we also lost our starting quarterback to a head injury. So we had another kid step in to "try" quarterback. It wasn't pretty at all, but what he did was effective and he proved to be a leader of the team. We damn near got the victory off of that leadership.

Now heading into this week's game (10/11/2014) we implemented two new plays as well as a new quarterback. The head coach felt it was best to do this as we're limited on numbers. Made sense. In other news, we lost one of my "project" kids for the game. He was not allowed to play for disciplinary reasons. I hate that, but it is the way it was supposed to be.  

Tiny Mites team warming up and wearing pink 

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The game was a great game. We played the #1 team in the league. Boy were they HUGE. This kids looked like old teens and dwarfed us. We did well against them. We were able to have GREAT technique on the defensive line which allowed us to slow them down. Tackling, was not so good. Our kids made great hits, but didn't wrap the ball carrier up so there were lots of broken tackles. 

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Our offense struggled as their defensive line was just massive in size. Very tough to block. But we were able to use better technique and scheme at times to get passed them. Down 8-6, we had to make a play in the closing minute and couldn't. A wide open pass was dropped in the endzone that would have put us ahead. It hurt us in our gut on the sidelines to see our kid drop that pass. It hurt him even more. The things is, the kid's character is unlike any other kid's out there. I guarantee that he will never forget that drop. I also guarantee he will not drop another pass. The kid will bounce back. 

So we took the #1 in the league to the wire. Lose 8-6. This was done with a brand new quarterback who was clearly nervous, but got better and without one of our better kids. The team is finally starting to get some of the things we coach them on. Details, hustle, following through, togetherness as a family. They're still kids and still silly, but we as coaches have made a mental breakthrough with these youngsters. I can't stand to lose, but what we accomplished this week makes the loss sting less. 

Thank you all for the continued support of the team. 


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