Hardin Co. bonding under one roof

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SAVANNAH, Tenn. – Spending one week at the field house in the preseason is a practice Hardin County’s football team started when head coach Matthew Smith was in school. The fifth year head coach is continuing the tradition. “I think it’s a great thing. We have 59 kids on our varsity team. They get to live together for the week,” Smith said. “They’re all bunked down in the field house. That’s an experience in itself. We get to have them all day.” The unique experience gives the Tigers a chance to focus on team bonding. The daily activities consist of practicing, film study, lunch, rest and more football. Team chemistry isn’t the only focal point during this experience. “I think that’s kind of our thing here. We want to play physical football,” Smith said. “We’re going to do a lot of things like two-on-twos and half-line drills.” Despite an 8-4 finish and a trip to the second round of the playoffs last year, Smith added his team can’t afford another slow start. Two of the Tigers’ losses occurred in the first three games. “Can’t afford a week off. Gotta be up and ready to play each and every week,” Smith said. “Mental and physical toughness, I believe is one of the most important qualities a team can have. That’s something we certainly try to develop in our practices.”

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