West Lincoln works on football program

Published 5:00 am Friday, July 13, 2001

Work never stops for new West Lincoln head football coach RoeBurns. While his players were working out in the weight room, Burnswas adding the traditional Bear green paint to a new set oflockers.

“We have a long way to go,”said Burns during a break. “But wehave improved a lot since January.”

Burns came to West Lincoln after spending 20 years with theClass 2A Loyd Star Hornets. His career record was 124 wins and 101losses. Burns was named The Daily Leader’s Coach of the Yearfour times. After the 1999 football season, Burns stepped down fromcoaching at Loyd Star after leading Loyd Star to the second roundof the state playoffs.

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Burns said West Lincoln football team members have improvedin the weight room. The Bears are averaging 30 pounds more in thebench press and 60 pounds additional strength on thesquat.

“In January, we have two who could lift 540 pounds,” saidBurns. “Now we have seven who can lift 500 pounds.”

Burns is a firm believer in a positive attitude and hardwork.

“The biggest thing is we have got to get the kids to have isa positive attitude to play to competition, not just play. Andyou’re not going to be successful without hard work.”

Burns said he was pleased with the Bears play in the 6thAnnual Cellular South Spring Football Classic at Meadville. WestLincoln beat Class 3A host Franklin County’s JV and fell toTylertown in the other game.

“Everyone got to play in the second game against Tylertown,”added Burns.

Burns said he had 42 players out for spring practice. Theyare averaging 20-25 players at the twice-a-week workouts during thesummer.

One of the things Burns saw in the Cellular South Jamboreewas a lack of aggressiveness on the part of his team.

“We have got to improve on being more aggressive,” stressedBurns. “On offense and defense, we have to learn to be aggressivecoming off the football.”

When the Bears return for preseason practice in August,Burns will be looking for a snapper and punter. They play theirfirst game Aug. 31, versus St. Joseph of Ridgeland.

There have been some changes at the field house and footballfield. They have added 12 lockers for the players.

“We reorganized the weight room better,” Burnssaid.

A new practice field was constructed last April.

‘That (practice field) will be a big help for us,” statedBurns. “Our football field is as hard as an asphalt highway. Wehave been working to improve it.”

Burns said he is happy to be back in coaching. “I amenjoying it here. The school has given me all I have askedfor.”