By Will Johnson
Messenger Reporter

ELKHART – After not making the playoffs last season, the Elkhart Elks are looking to rebound this year and appear to be primed to do so under new Head Coach Jason Fiacco.

The Elks finished 3-7 last year and would like to put that out of their minds. This year’s team will run a multi-set offense while on the defensive side of the ball, the Elks will work out of a base 3-4.

“We have a lot of strengths,” the coach said. “We have a lot of athletic ability and something that is overlooked by a lot of people is the work ethic of the kids. The kids are willing to come out here and work hard every day.”

As far as areas which could be improved upon, Fiacco said, “There’s a lot. There is not one area that stands out. There’s not one thing but I guess we just need to get more polished at everything we do.”

Asked where he hoped his team would be at the start of November, the coach said he felt his team had a lot of potential “… and we need to take advantage of that and getting the guys where they need to be scheme-wise. The kids have bought into what we’re doing and the coaches are all on the same page. We have everything we want. It’s just going to be a matter of getting more polished.”

The Elks will compete in District 11-3A DI along with: the Coldspring-Oakhurst Trojans; the Crockett Bulldogs; the Diboll Lumberjacks; the Franklin Lions; the Trinity Tigers; and the Westwood Panthers.

When asked if there was any certain date he had circled on the calendar, Fiacco said the emphasis at this point was on the Elks scrimmage against the Mildred Eagles on Friday, Aug. 17.

“I know that sounds ridiculous, but we came in with a plan of what we want to do every day up until the season gets going. We are focused more on our practice and what we need to knock out for the development of the kids. Right now we’re preparing them and getting ready for the scrimmage,” he said.

Players to watch include: Ky Thomas; Seth Hoffman; Kolby McClellan, Weldon Brooks and David Morrison; and Landry Mays.

For it to be a successful season for the Elks, Fiacco said it would take “… the guys fulfilling their potential. The only people who know what that means are the guys on the team. If they take advantage of what they have and the resources they have to fulfill their potential, I’ll be happy with that. I know what that is and the kids know what that is and that’s all that really matters. Every day we are working towards that goal.”

Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at wjohnson@messenger-news.com.