FARIMONT — First-year head coach Kevin Inman knows that he has a wealth of athletes and talent on his team, but this summer is all about getting the Fairmont football team in condition.
Getting his team in shape is one thing, but working around a busy schedule where many of his players are working around basketball workouts and other events with school or work is another. In all, Inman has seen over 30 players on average out this summer.
Fairmont went 8-5 last year and was the only team from Robeson County to get out of the first round of the state playoffs, but the team this fall will look drastically different from the past two seasons.
The Golden Tornadoes go into this year looking to replace their top passer, rusher and receiver, and the summer is where Inman is looking to fill the voids left by three-time Robeson County Heisman Julius Caulder at quarterback, running back Halijah McLean and receiver Jarique Moore. The pieces are there, but his job is to get them up to speed.
“It’s just quality reps to get them up to speed through spring ball and the summer,” Inman said. “They’re going to be tough to replace, but we’ve got quality guys coming back. They’re just young and we’ve got to get them into the mindset that they have to work hard.”
New face leading the program
For the seniors this year that have played football for four years, Inman’s entrance is the third new head coach after Mark Heil’s two-year run followed Randy Ragland’s stay in Fairmont. Through this offseason Inman has seen his players show that they can respond well to change, and understand concepts being taught differently.
“They’ve responded well, especially with their work ethic from our linemen and skill guys,” Inman said. “In a coach’s mind there’s always something more and something better. I always strive for perfection and that’s what we are working toward.”
Preparing to play both sides
With numbers not quite to par to have players having a backup at some position, Inman expects to have guys play on both sides of the ball this fall. Preparing for that task starts with long conditioning sessions and time in the weight room.
“You train your body for that fatigue and that stress right now,” Inman said. “We’re going to have a lot of guys go both ways so we have to train like that. We have to put our body through that stress and get our body accustomed to it.”
Jonathan Bym can be reached at 910-816-1977. Follow him on Twitter @Jonathan_Bym.