Those are the three things that South Putnam head football coach Chuck Sorrell wanted out of his team in the offseason after the Eagles played many young skill players last season.
"All of them have really bought into the weight program and our quarterback, Wyatt Mullin, being the leader as a sophomore, put on 20 pounds of muscle, and then our two sophomore receivers and two sophomore offensive linemen worked out with him every day. We have a really good mixture of seniors and sophomores that should compliment each other on both sides of the ball," Sorrell told The Putnam County Post.
The Eagles will open the 2022 season at Class A Cloverdale. The game can be heard on 94.3 WREB and giant.fm. The pregame show begins at 6:40 with kickoff at 7 p.m.
To prepare for Cloverdale and the rigors of the season, Sorrell put the Eagles up against bigger programs this summer, including Terre Haute North, Danville, Northview, Cascade, North Juduson and Lafayette Central Catholic before ending the summer against West Lafayette.
"Do we dominate all those teams in the summer? No, but do we get opportunities to play against bigger schools that will help us win our conference and prepare us for the toughest 1A sectional in the state? Yes," Sorrell said.
When it comes to leaders, Sorrell said South Putnam will lean heavily on its seniors -- Ethan Harcourt, Brock Heavin and Luke Switzer, but expects big things out of several other players.
Those players include juniors Aiden Beadles, Kyle Glasson, Drew Hill, Caden Switzer and Wyatt Kendall, along with sophomores Wyatt Mullin and Wyatt Switzer.
"Our super sophomores should be our playmakers. Quarterback Wyatt Mullin and Wyatt Switzer will connect often as we try to get the ball in their hands. Our tight end/defensive end, Zach Dorsett, is also ready for a big season," Sorrell said.
As Sorrell mentioned, South Putnam competes in one of the toughest sectionals in Class A, as the Eagles are in Sectional 47 with Covenant Christian, Lutheran, North Central, Parke Heritage and Riverton Parke.
That isn't stopping the Eagles from having goals of winning a conference title and a state championship.
For that to happen, Sorrell notes several things must happen.
"We must grow each week in film, weight class, practice and on game nights. I like this team and I would love for a few of them to take the reigns and lead us to a lot wins," he said.