LEXINGTON, Va. – It's year two for head coach Garrett LeRose at Washington and Lee University. The Generals went 5-4 in 2018 during a year of change.
Now they turn the page in 2019, establishing expectations of accountability and most importantly, energy.
"I think we're really excited to be down to the details now. This group we have coming up now is excited and motivated by what we learned last year," LeRose said. "I think that consistency that we've established through our offseason has allowed us to be more consistent with what we are bringing to the table this year."
One thing that remains the same is the Generals' run offense, capitalized by big men up front.
"Our talented guys in the backfield, [I'm] so impressed with them. They work incredibly hard, a lot of great young guys," center Kyle Perel said. "So when we're able to move as a unit together and they're able to do their job, it makes us look really good."
Washington and Lee also led the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) in scoring defense in 2018, something the secondary is looking to continue.
"One thing that's changed is that from a defensive perspective, we've gotten a lot more athletic in all positions all throughout," cornerback Matthew Dodson said. "We've gotten a lot smarter, so as our schemes begin to develop, we begin fine-tuning things, start finding the different weak spots, and start communicating better with the coaches."
The energy and accountability was at an all-time high Saturday in the first day of pads.
"We have to hold all of each other accountable and make sure that we're running around and being more physical," Dodson said. "That's something the coaches saw towards the end of last year. We started fading away, our energy, towards the end of games, so we want to make sure we keep that up all throughout the season this year."
"Every single day, we try to bring the intensity, bring the heat. We love the energy. We just focus on making sure we can still get what we need to in practice," linebacker Logan Brand said.
The Generals open their season at home on Sept. 7 against Dickinson.