First-year Brandon High football coach Dean Eychner isn't forgetting about the Eagles' past traditions. In fact, the long-time Hillsborough High assistant coach is embracing the tradition of the Brandon teams of old.
To Eychner, it's time to get back to what he sees as the school's blue-collar traditions and is looking at his "lunch box guys" to get that done.
Look no further the senior offensive lineman Ron Dennison.
Eychner said Dennison encompasses everything he hopes to have in a player who is committed to what the new coaching staff has tried to implement so far.
"Ron is exactly the kind of kids we want our other players to emulate," Eychner said. "He has that old-school work ethic, he's humble, he's coachable, he's an outstanding student. He does everything he can do to enjoy football."
For Dennison, the responsibility of shouldering a heavy load when it comes to getting back to those "old roots" his coaching staff is pushing is a pressure he's ready to accept.
"There is some pressure to show the younger guys the right way of doing things," Dennison said. "For me though, I'm going to do my part to show what the right things are and the right way to do them."
A season ago, the Eagles relied heavily on the run going 6-5 and advancing as the lass 7A-District 8 runner-up. The Eagles were paced by Tyrell Garner's 1,307 yards and 18 touchdowns (16 rushing) last year, but return a number of experienced rushers including junior Cyrus Dooley (687 yards and nine touchdowns). So it will again fall on the offensive line to get the offense going.
"We are going to have to be more physical this year because we are a little smaller on (offense)," Dennison said. "But we've got plenty of speed and we are going to use that to our advantage in the running game."
A big task, when you look at the Eagles schedule which includes a tough district highlighted by last year's 7A-8 champs Durant and four other playoff teams from a year ago in Armwood, Plant, Sickles and Jefferson.
"There is already a lot more discipline," Dennison said. "In the past it was everybody doing what they wanted, now it's everyone doing the right thing they need to do and I think that has is in the mind set to succeed."