News 3 Athletes of the Week: Hardaway Hawks

COLUMBUS, Ga. – The Hardaway Hawks are off to a rousing start this season with their win over Troup. The team has earned our first Athletes of the Week award. News 3’s Carlos Williams has this report:

It wasn’t that long ago that the Hardaway Hawks football program was mired in a 19 game losing streak, despite early success and extremely hard work by then head coach Jeff Battles.

But now, there’s a new sheriff in town with a new attitude and new ideas for the Hardaway football program.

“You know our quote for the year is new Hardaway. The kids say new Hardaway, because we want anything associated with the old Hardaway long and gone. The next thing we say is keep grinding. Everything you do. Grind in the classroom. Grind on the field. Whatever you do in life, go hard, and that’s what we are trying to instill in the kids,” says new head coach Michael Woolridge.

Coach Woolridge’s new philosophy was evident in the Hawks big 21-to-14 season opening win over the Troup County Tigers.

In that game Jakobee Ellerbee scored two touchdowns, while Michael Gentry recovered a fumble in the end zone for a score. And Antonio Campbell had two crucial interceptions.

“They had me guarding the best receiver. I had to do what I had to do, and I locked him down,” said Campbell.

“You know we worked hard all summer out here, so we had to show it on the field,” added Gentry.

“I just gave them a speech on senior leadership. That we can do this. And in the second half with our mind straight, we took the w,” continued Ellerbee.

Meanwhile coach Woolridge says there is still much work to be done beginning this Friday night when the Hawks hit the road to tangle with the Harris County Tigers.

“Harris County vs Hardaway is a big time rivalry. So you know, you can throw away the records. So we told the boys, let’s not be content with one win. We told them to stay hungry, because if you stay hungry you always eat,” said Woolridge.

And so we say congratulations to the Hardaway Hawks football team. Our WRBL Athletes of the Week.


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