The Era Hornets have had a slow start to their season, but despite dropping their first two games, head coach Aaron Fortenberry and his team aren’t dwelling too much on the past as they turn their attention on Friday’s opponent Chico.
“I’m not much on believing in luck, but I would say that luck hasn’t really gone our way to start off this year,” Fortenberry said. “So I think it’s about to turn around and the kids have had a good attitude. And they want to get better.”
The Hornets played two tough, local teams in Lindsay and Sacred Heart, but Fortenberry said he felt the team hurt itself with penalties and turnovers.
“We didn’t give ourselves a chance,” Fortenberry said. “We fumbled the ball and you can’t get anything going. I will say one thing, our kids played hard. We just have to fix some of our technical issues and some of our mental lapses here and there, but the kids are playing hard. I think those two games, looking down the road, I think those two games will help us and get us ready for district play.”
As for how the Hornets plan on eliminating those turnovers, Fortenberry said their approach is simple.
“It’s lots and lots of reps, reps and reps,” Fortenberry said. “We’re three yards and a cloud of dust and that’s our plan.”
Last season, the Hornets downed Chico 41-14 — their biggest offensive output of the year.
While Fortenberry said he is optimistic about their improvements this season, he doesn’t think last season’s tilt will affect Friday’s game much.
“I can’t expect anything right now,” Fortenberry said. “I told the kids that there’s nobody we can take lightly. They’ve probably seen our last two scores and they’re going to be geared up and ready to go.We’re not one of those teams that can just roll the ball on the field and beat somebody. We’re gonna have to work for it. We’re gonna have to earn it and that’s kind of what we’re preaching this week is being the tougher team and finishing the game all the way through.”
Fortenberry said he expects the Lions to employ a basic 4-3 defense, but the main focus for the Hornets is their own game.
“They’re pretty big up front,” Fortenberry said. “They have pretty good linebackers and safeties will come down and make plays and we have to be ready for it. We’ve kind of been preaching every week, but even more this week that it doesn’t matter what they do. We’re going to show you what they’re going to do, but you know, they’re allowed to come out and do something else. It matters what we do if we can follow our rules and do our assignments.”