Trojans’ troubles outside the lines

  • Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Cross football coach Shaun Wright during happier times at the 2012 Class A Div. II state championship game.

The Cross football team’s worst opponents haven’t always been the guys standing along the far sideline.

A pair of costly fumbles hurt the Trojans dearly in a 33-25 loss to St. John’s on Johns Island Friday night.

“We have become our own worst enemy this year,” said CHS Head Coach Shaun Wright.

The first fumble came near the end of the first half when the Trojans were driving to take the lead against the Islanders. The second fumble occurred late in the fourth quarter as Cross mounted a drive to possibly win the game.

St. John’s returned both fumbles for touchdowns.

Looking at the score, Wright has good reason to be frustrated in his team’s erratic play.

“We have improved a great deal from game one,” he said. “We have rushed for over 300 yards in almost every game and we have been better defensively. However the problem with this team is lack of character. We are our own worst enemy.

“Players don’t police each other and there is a lack of focus.”

Perhaps his team has forgotten how hard it fought to win the Class A Division II state championship in 2012. It didn’t come easily for Wright and his Trojans.

Wright said his team’s challenges go far beyond the simple drawing-up of X’s and O’s on the blackboard.

This summer the football program was hit hard by the tragic loss of assistant coach Antonio Simmons, but Wright said it’s all about building character as young men.

“As adults we often say I feel sorry for our youth but we are living in this world with them,” he said. “This is why we teach and coach. We can’t just kick them all off.”

Wright said the Trojans’ losses this year might serve as a blessing in disguise.

“Losing these games has been a good teaching lesson for the ones who are doing right as well as those who are hurting us,” he said. “It’s also teaching this coaching staff that we have to be that rock when these kids don’t get it at home.”

Wright hinted at a team disciplinary incident prior to Friday night’s game with St. John’s that shifted the focus away from football.

“We are improving but Friday before the game some mistakes were made by the kids and that cost us the game. When these kids decide to do what’s right we will be successful.”

With the loss, Cross fell to 3-5 overall and 1-1 in Region 6A play. The Trojans host Lincoln this Friday. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m.

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