MARION,SC- Sometimes in sports, we forget the "student" in student-athlete and academics take a back seat to accomplishments on the field but out in Marion, the "new-look" Swamp foxes are determined to work just as hard off the field as they do on it.
"I've always said that, if you win in the classroom, the field is easy," said 2nd year Marion head coach, Leonard Johnson.
What could not have been easy, was the Swamp foxes 4-0 start to the 2014 season. Those four wins surpassed the total number of wins for Marion football for the 2012 and 2013 seasons combined but more importantly is what Johnson and crew are doing off the field that maybe contributing to their success on it.
"We just got a bunch of guys that are doing it academically but better than that, they are good kids, character-wise. You find that those two things go hand-in-hand. When they are doing great in the classroom, the character is there and they end up making good decisions for themselves going forward."
Through football, this group is reaching their full potential as both students and athletes.
"It's a positive correlation between the field and the classroom," said Junior halfback and linebacker, Ta'Jon Jordan. "If you do good in the classroom," said the 4.3 GPA student,"it should go over to the field and sometimes you feel like you don't want to do it, but you got to do it because this is what it takes."
But even after getting off to one of the best starts in school history, the team knows that there are still lessons to be learned on the field, especially after suffering their first loss of the season.
"Nothing is going to be given to us," said Senior Right tackle, Eric Moody. "As far as how our season went last year, starting off 0-4 and turning that one win [of the season] into one loss this season, we understand that every week, week-in and week-out, we have to work."
The 4-1 Swamp foxes will square off with undefeated Loris in the Extra Point - Game of the Week on Friday, October 3. Kickoff is set for 7:30pm in Loris.