LAKE WACCAMAW, NC (WWAY) — 2013. That’s the last time East Columbus started 1-0. Since then, a combined 3-41 record. But that’s the past. 2018 is a new year and this squad is ready to start making noise in the Three Rivers Conference.
For the first time in five years, East Columbus is 1-0 and for the first time under Coach James Hobbs they are our team of the week. It’s something that has this team feeling good.
“The past few years these boys have started 0-10,” Coach Hobbs said. “So to start 1-0, it feels really good. These boys are excited.”
In the opening game of 2018, the Gators pounded Fayetteville Christian to the tune of a 41-6 beatdown, the biggest point differential of any team in our area.
This shows the change in culture is starting to take shape for the Gators.
“We’ve got a lot more guys willing to work and do things more to help the team,” Running back Jamar Williams said. “We have a lot more of that this year. The beginning of the season last year was kind of rough, so it feels good to come out this season and get the first win of the season.”
East did so with only 36 players on their roster, but compare that to a year ago when they sometimes dressed only 15 players, it’s a major improvement.
No matter how few there numbers may be their strength and conditioning keeps them in the game.
“It’s really tough considering last year we had 15 players, then you have Whiteville and South Columbus with 40 plus players,” Lineman Seth Farmer said. “People are changing in front of you 4 or 5 times and you’re in there the whole game. It’s conditioning. You have to stay conditioned.
Another big part of this team comes from within: their heart.
Coach Hobbs has seen his guys commit to this team and this school. Now the results will continue to show.
“The seniors the last three years have stuck with football and they’ve been through a lot with football,” Coach Hobbs said. “A few different coaches, some bad seasons and they got tired of it. They worked really hard this past year in the weight room to change this. So we’re starting off on the right note.”
They are off to the right note, but East Columbus wants to continue to play to a winning tune.
Now, they have a message for their future opponents.
“Friday was only an appetizer of what we got,” Farmer said. “We’re still hungry. We’re not going to stop until we’re playoff bound. So you better come out prepared. You’ve been sleeping on us for the past few years and you better not sleep on us this year.”