McCONNELSVILLE - Recent years on the football field haven't been kind to the Morgan Raiders, but with every offseason comes a chance for a fresh start.
With first year head coach Derek Bragg now at the helm, the Raiders are hard at work and hoping that this fall is the beginning of the program's turnaround.
"It takes hard work to become winners," Bragg said. "You have to be willing to work hard and sacrifice to win football games."
Bragg, a 2005 graduate of Morgan High, was a three-sport athlete for the Raiders. He was Morgan's leading rusher in 2004, his senior season, when the team posted a 6-4 overall record. Since then, Morgan has had just two winning seasons on the gridiron (2005, 2007). So what will it take for the Raiders to right the ship
"It's all about the attitude," Bragg said. "The kids have to have confidence in themselves. We can't have the 'Here we go again' attitude. We have to believe that we can be competitive and win football games."
Morgan is currently conditioning on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and has scrimmages and a team camp lined up for later this month. These next couple of weeks are going to be really important for the players before official practices begin.
"I'm looking for kids to play hard," Bragg said, "and to know their jobs and responsibilities and to execute them. If they work hard in practice and work hard in scrimmages, it will benefit them toward winning football games."
Morgan went 1-9 last season and hasn't won more than two games the last six seasons. There is no reason to think that cannot change this year.
"The ones that we have coming back have done a good job of being leaders in the weight room," Bragg said. "I'm really impressed with the attitudes and the work ethic."
Morgan opens up at home Aug. 29 against Marietta.