After opening the 2015-16 season with a win, the University of West Georgia Wolves continue their campaign towards success in the month of January. Although the regular-season is played earlier, the type of success that had evaded the UWG Wolves lies behind the regular-season’s end. The Wolves fell two games shy of achieving the feat last season, but in Coach Hall’s second season as the squad’s head coach, the team looks ready to turn the corner, thanks to a handful of dimensions for optimism on this team.
A rather obvious dimension to point out is scheme. Throughout his first season as head coach of the Wolves, Hall was leading a team with a large chunk of his scheme left uninstalled. This offseason has allowed Hall and his regime the time to install the remaining details of their scheme here at West Georgia. Because of this, Hall said West Georgia football fans can expect a more detail oriented football team.
“It’s just different, schematically, in every phase,” said Hall. “We finally have our entire system install. As opposed to last season, where we were operating with about 60 percent installed.”
To match the momentum of last season’s success, and the prospect of having a championship breakthrough, the team has also packed a bit of swagger – swagger that follows being the favorite to win their home conference, the Gulf South Conference. The team’s also ranking first in total defense, passing defense and passing efficiency. As much as the team and coaching staff would like to play humble, their performances last season have created attention. However, this offseason preparation has become the suspected generator of such confidence.
“I think we have more confidence just because we know,” said Hall. “I can remember going into some last year’s games as nervous as I had ever been. The players had never played for me and I had never coached this group of players. But, now we have some familiarity, we know how others on the team will react when adversity strikes. And this just makes us stronger as a unit.”
Confidence, familiarity and structure are all important and integral parts to building a championship program. But those aspects alone do not award a team the championship. The one detail that the Wolves have chosen to take advantage of is retaining good players from their successful seasons, especially those in a position to lead the team.
“We have a lot of returners coming back, a lot of guys that have put hard work into this program,” said Hall. “I am really excited about Dallas [Dickey], he played all last year hurt, with only 60 percent of his scheme installed. He’s stronger now, more prepared, the whole offense is in and he knows best. He’s faced some criticism in the past, but I’m anxious to see him show what he’s got.”
Winning a championship starts with good leadership. Trickling down from the staff that organizes the rosters, to the coaches, down to the team captains that make up the roster. Last season, the Wolves showed how great of a decision it was to bring Coach Hall aboard as head coach. Now, with great attention, the Wolves must turn the corner and cash all of their potential in for a championship trophy.