MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. -- Mount Vernon High School football coach Ric Wright put his Knights through a good off-season training program, a week-long summer camp and demanding practice sessions with Friday's 7 p.m. season-opening visit to Carmel as the focus.
"We want to have a winning attitude from Day 1," Wright said last week after returning from summer camp in Pennsylvania. "We have the talent to be successful but we have to execute what we've learned out on the practice field. It starts in Carmel."
The Knights come off two consecutive losing seasons and a 5-13 record over that time. Last year's 2-7 season could have been a winning one with better attention to detail and that execution Wright talks about.
"We were in some games but we made a lot of mistakes and didn't finish at times," he said. "You do the training to be able to play four quarters. That's what we need to do."
Returning senior quarterback Anthony Green will lead the offense as 15 seniors return on an experienced squad. The defense will be keyed by seniors David Watkins, LaDre Milburn, Chris Anoff and Lamont Albert.
Carmel, 4-4 last fall, will go with freshman starter Joe Rodriguez at quarterback. The youngster will learn as he goes but does have a good arm and is a mature player. Rodriguez played well in a recent scrimmage against North Rockland despite a few mishaps behind center. Look for the Knights to pressure the first-time starter.
The Knights can give their coach an early return on all the hard work they have done this summer if they stay focused and play a full game.
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