A second round playoff appearance has fueled the Monroe football team for more. More wins in 2012 is the goal. More starters are returning to the Tornado squad. All the pieces are coming together for the south Albany school.
Practicing on artificial turf, the Monroe Tornadoes couldn't be more natural on a football field. With 16 starters returning from a playoff team, the Tornadoes are hungry for more than wins in the playoffs.
"I think kids realized they didn't accomplish the task that they had last year. In order to do that, we have to be real focused," Monroe Head Coach Charles Truitt said.
That all begins with junior quarterback Charles Stafford and a luxury of wide receivers. Stafford has matured over the offseason.
"He has gotten two times better from last year to this year. He's just self-motivatedâ|ideal kid. He works hard to get better on the football field. We expect big things out of Charles," Truitt said.
Under Coach Truitt, the staple of Monroe has been the defense. This season, that group has stapled lofty goals to the locker room.
"Under 92 points allowed this year. We want to have the best defense in the region and the state. We really want to break records this year," defensive back Jawaski Randle said.
"We have the make-up of having a good defense this upcoming season. I tell them all the time, we set these goals, but goals ain't worth nothing if we can't make it," Truitt said.
The offensive line is setting the table. The quarterback has his pick of players. All together, there's a high ceiling for the Tornadoes 2012 season.
"Experience is there. The chemistry is there. Everybody is on one point. We're just ready to work and ready to compete at the highest level," Randle said.