The Whitesboro Bearcats previously employed Michael Johnson Performance to run their summer football training, but with head coach Cody Fagan coming into a new program, he wanted to organize the training himself.

This summer, Fagan wanted to get his hands dirty.

“I don’t honestly know if it was great results or bad results, but I called the Michael Johnson Performance center and told them hey, no offense to you guys, but I felt like for me with it being my first year, this was an important time for these kids to get to know me as a coach and let our coaches coach them,” Fagan said. “And in the future, we might go to something like that again and outsource it a little bit as I see the benefits to both sides.”

Fagan has had experience with other fitness companies during his time at Midlothian and he said in certain situations, having athletes hear a fresh voice added to their motivation and work ethic.

“You’re selling the same stuff, but that’s why you bring in speakers all the time because kids get tired of hearing me and want to hear someone new,” Fagan said. “Then they hear the new person say the same things and think ‘maybe coach Fagan isn’t full of crap.’ It’s something down the road we may look at, but right now, I just felt it was more important for the new coaches and some of the newer guys to be able to start building those relationships.”

After racking up some time with the athletes, Fagan said he is encouraged with what he has seen.

“So far, they’ve been great,” Fagan said. “I told them the day I got here that something happened that they weren’t in control of as far as the transition [of the coaching staff]. Now it’s time for them to respond. How are you going to respond? Your response is going to dictate our outcome, so I asked them to give me a fair shot. I had nothing to do with the situation, however it went. And they’ve done exactly that. They responded with poise and class. They’ve listened every day and done a great job. And it’s been really fun.”

There has been plenty of hard work put in by the athletes, according to Fagan, but he said the real work begins next week.

“Our numbers were great,” Fagan said. “Obviously, you’re never going to have 100% attendance in the summer, but once we get to Aug. 5 though, the real work begins just because we’re going to be holding you accountable in every way. You’ve got to be on time and all those little things. And we tried to set those standards.”

After going 7-4 last season, the Bearcats and Fagan have high expectations this season.

“I’ve seen we got some big, strong kids here,” Fagan said. “They work hard. I feel like the great thing that has been established here is for the last eight to 10 years, they’re used to winning and when you’re used to winning, winning breeds winning. You can tell they’re confident kids, but not cocky. Their mindset is they’ve earned the right to be successful and they’re going to continue to be successful because of that. We’ve just got to harness that and make sure that we’re all on the same page being unselfish and putting the team before ourselves.”

Patrick Hayslip can be reached at sports@gainesvilleregister.com or on Twitter at @PatrickHayslip