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Warriors working hard to improve in 2012

by Rob Tetro

Every season, players and coaches strive to get the best out of each other as possible, according to Hannibal coach John Manion.

This season, the Warriors return a determined team, poised to be more competitive than it has been in years past.

To the benefit of Hannibal and every other team in the Warriors league, the league will now have a 16-team playoff at the end of the season.

With this in mind, Manion said that if his team shows improvement as the season goes on, it’s not out of the question to think that they could get the wins they would need to qualify for the sectional playoffs.

Hannibal will feature many experienced seniors in 2012 and returning juniors are also stepping up and showing leadership skills as well.

A year ago, many juniors played their first season of varsity football. A year older and a year wiser, Manion said his juniors are proving to be leaders in the development of the Warriors enthusiastic younger players.

As practice began, Hannibal appeared to be in better physical condition than a year ago.

After seeing how well his team has responded to conditioning drills, Manion is quick to credit his team for the commitment that they have shown to conditioning.

Despite encouraging his players to take part in other sports, there is a weight lifting program throughout the year.

As practices have gone on, the team’s physical conditioning has developed nicely, the coach said.

Though the team runs sprints at the end of practice, it has shown that it can handle a particular conditioning drill, which is basically fast paced no huddle scrimmaging.

This particular drill not only develops their conditioning but it also helps them to get better acclimated to game situations as well.

Manion has not named any team captains. He pointed out, however, that he expects a team captain to be someone who has the respect of his teammates while keeping everyone around him focused during the tougher moments.

He added that team captains aren’t always the best players on the field, but rather they are the players who show the most impressive work ethic and lead by example.

Manion also noted that there are a few of his returning juniors who have provided leadership simply for the work they have done.

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