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Maumelle looks to build off youth movement | Preps on 11

Mostly underclassmen will lead the Hornets in 2023, and head coach Brain Maupin views it as a benefit.

MAUMELLE, Ark. — The Hornets are building something in Maumelle. 

Well, several somethings.

“We’ve been displaced most of the summer,” Maumelle head coach Brian Maupin said. "But it's something the kids relish, and the district is doing right by us trying to get top-of-the-line things.”

Sophomore quarterback Andrew Bjork said the team has had to get creative this summer.

“Working out in the basketball weight room," Bjork said. "Just trying to find ways to get work in. [I'm] ready for this stuff to be done."

Senior Michael Candler has his eyes set on making history in 2023.

“I feel like we're gonna make history this year," Candler said. "We deserve all the new stuff."

But it’s not just a new fieldhouse and indoor facilities. This year, the Hornets are counting on a group of underclassmen who went 9-1 with the junior high.

Maumelle is hoping that success translates to the varsity level.

“As I get older, I realize youth is a benefit,” Maupin said. “I’m relying on these young legs, young minds and we’re going to ride them until the wheels fall off.”

Candler is one of the few seniors on the team.

“We just have to motivate them to be the best guys they can become,” Candler said.

That includes Bjork, who will look to lead the offense while adjusting to the varsity game's speed.

“Varsity’s a lot faster,” Bjork said. "It took me a little bit to get used to how everyone runs their routes and plays differently, but now I think I’ve got it."

Maupin, entering his second year as head coach at Maumelle, has learned there's no substitute for doing things the hard way.

“I think the biggest thing is doing things the right way," Maupin said. "No shortcuts to success, just attention to detail. It’s not instant oatmeal out here. We’re trying to do things old-fashioned.”

Maumelle opens the season at home against Sylvan Hills on Aug. 25.


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