Dylan James • Staff Writer
A 10-0 season with an appearance in the state playoffs, and a state championship is what every team dreams off before the kickoff of their first game. That dream has not changed Hayes’ football team. It is still just a dream
The Pacers haven’t had the greatest season by any stretch of the imagination. They’ve pulled off wins at Buckeye Valley and Mount Vernon, but haven’t had much success since then.
“[This season] has been a struggle,” Head Coach Mike Golden said. “We are a brand new staff with new expectations and different ways of doing things.”
Things have changed this season. There is new lifting programs designed for the football players for seasons to come. The players have had to adjust to the new environment they belong to.
“I’m proud of the kids in the way they have worked hard to adjust,” Golden said. “There is a big change in workouts and what is expected from them. All in all, it is not what we wanted, but we’re on a journey. That journey is going toward long term success.”
A team’s record determines the success or failure of the season. The Pacers record is 3-6 (Pending result of game 10/31), which is well below the mark they wanted to be at.
“This season hasn’t been a success,” Golden said. “We did not win any league titles, and we did not qualify for the state playoffs. To me, that would be success.”
When a team loses leadership, it takes a toll on the players. Leadership is an underrated quality when it comes to athletics. Leaders of a team provide that extra experience and wisdom throughout the season to keep a team level headed and focused on the task at hand.
“[The Seniors] are good kids with good spirits,” Golden said. “They responded to change with open arms and an open mind. I will always appreciate that.”
When a team has an unsuccessful season, it’s easy to want to forget about it and move forward. Not everything is a complete waste. There lessons to learn, things to correct and skills to improve.
“We are going to have to do some things to correct the football situation here in Delaware,” Golden said. “It will definitely be corrected.”
The spirits of this year are in the dumps, but next year holds infinite possibilities. Golden and the rest of the coaching staff seems optimistic.
“The expectation is to significantly better next year record wise, and it will be better.” Golden said.
As it stands now, there is a change going on in the Hayes football program. The hype keeps building, and the sky’s the limit for seasons to come.
“Coach Coleman and I learned when we got here that the lifting program wasn’t where it should be in this league,” Golden said. We have been to the highest levels in this sport. You have to work hard in the off-season to achieve success during the season. We have a chance to do that this year.”