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St. Frances Academy's Head Football Coach, Messay Hailemariam, is gearing up for an exciting upcoming season with a strong focus on improvements and new talent. Coach Hailemariam shared his insights on the team's strategy, goals, key matchups, conditioning, and standout players.
When asked about changes and improvements, Coach Hailemariam emphasized the transition from a defense-oriented team to a more well-rounded squad. While last year's defense was exceptional, this season, the offense is set to showcase its fireworks and become a key point of emphasis for the Panthers.
Regarding new talent, Coach Hailemariam expressed enthusiasm about two players joining the team. Freshman wide receiver James Branch and sophomore safety Jireh Edwards are expected to make significant contributions with their big play abilities. James is poised to be a focal point for the offense, while Jireh joins an already impressive defensive backfield.
The team's ultimate goal remains the same: winning the national championship. Coach Hailemariam believes this is an opportunity to showcase the talent present in the DMV area and secure a place in history as the first Maryland team to be crowned national champions. Last year's loss to IMG Academy left the team hungry, and they are determined to claim the championship title this season.
One particular matchup that stands out for Coach Hailemariam is facing off against Mater Dei, a team that defeated St. Frances Academy in the past. This rematch has been highly anticipated, and the Panthers are eager to prove themselves against formidable opponents.
The team's preparation includes a strong emphasis on conditioning and training. Coach Hailemariam highlighted the importance of recovery, nutrition, hydration, and overall care for the players' bodies. This approach aims to ensure that the team maintains peak performance throughout the season and continues to grow stronger as the games progress.
Lastly, Coach Hailemariam praised the standout players who have shown exceptional skills and leadership qualities during the off-season. Quarterback Michael Van Buren and defensive back Blake Woodby were specifically mentioned for exemplifying what it means to be a Panther. Their dedication, hard work, and ability to lead their teammates make them valuable assets to the team.
With Coach Hailemariam at the helm, St. Frances Academy's football team is ready to make strides this upcoming season, with a focus on balance, new talent, and the ultimate goal of becoming national champions.
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