Keith Owen doesn’t have time to waste looking back on Dublin’s 1-9 season last fall. Or the 1-9 campaign the fall before that.
Owen, who is entering his second season as head coach after eight as defensive coordinator at Dublin, is too busy focusing on the here and now.
“We believe we started something with the mindset, effort and identity of our group last fall. We established the type of team we want to be,” Owen said. “Unfortunately we didn’t get to see the benefits of it on the scoreboard, but good things took place in the way our kids played and worked.”
Because of that, Owen doesn’t believe his team must start over.
“We’re not starting over, we’re continuing where we left off last year, moving forward with the same mindset and attitude,” he said. “Now it’s time to expect that what we’re doing and developing will pay off.”
Owen says for Dublin - and any team - it starts with more than just wanting success.
“There are a whole lot of people who want a whole lot of things,” he said. “The difference is what you’re willing to do to get it. We have a bunch of kids who have committed to doing what it takes to get what they want.”
Owen says spirits have been high among his players through three days of two-a-days, and that has made the coaches excited.
“We’ve been excited to see the kids showing up willing to do what it takes, willing to make sacrifices, willing to be held accountable to each other and willing to put that effort into learning new things and demonstrating them on the field,” he said.
Owen says there is one senior on the team who embodies exactly what he means.
“Marcus Aguilar is very serious about his leadership role,” he said. “He’s a returning varsity player, and from what I’ve seen, he has a real strong attitude and understanding concerning what a leader should be. He’s an aggressive football player regardless of position he’s playing on offense or defense.”
Aguilar is just the type of player Dublin needs - willing to play any position with tenacity every play of a game.
“He’s played wide receiver and outside linebacker, but right now he’s working out at quarterback, coming out of the backfield and playing strong safety,” Owen said. “He’s a versatile player.”
Players will have to be versatile, because with approximately 35 high school players in the program, Owen expects to carry only about 20 on varsity.
“When you have 20 kids, you teach them a lot of positions,” he said.
There are others who have caught the head coach’s eye during early workouts.
“We have a considerable amount of linemen returning and I’m excited about that,” he said. “I believe Armando Martinez played every snap at center last year, and Colton Curry is an aggressive downhill runner who really runs to the football.”
Dublin continues two-a-days through the end of next week, then hosts Meridian in a scrimmage Aug. 14. The Lions scrimmage Tolar the following week, but the date and time are still being determined. They open the regular season against Hico in Stephenville on Aug. 27.