The Wolverines’ stellar 2012 football season came to an end last week via a 20-13 loss at Ware County in second round GHSA Class 5-A postseason play.
For the senior players on the roster, the only thing left to do is reflect on a solid 10-2 season — and now past individual glory found within the context of team success.
Now, soon-to-be graduates like star tailback/middle linebacker Derrick Craine and stud defensive lineman Tyler Vaughn must stand aside to make room for their successors.
Speaking of which: Union Grove’s offense appears to be in good hands as sophomore quarterback Jonathan Slade is set to again be under center next season — the benefits of having gained experience against top-flight opposition sure to manifest themselves during the team’s 2013 push.
Perhaps the best is yet to come. The Wolverines, provided its feeder school and underclassmen talent pool remain deep, could conceivably continue their upward swing and evolve into an annual state title contenders.
Perhaps it is a bit too early to ponder what’s on the horizon at this point — when last Friday’s loss still probably stings to some degree. Still, looking back too long at a memorable season for a team on the rise isn’t advised either.
This season’s campaign marks yet another rung of steady improvement for the Wolverines since Paul Burgdorf took over head coaching duties three years ago.
“Record-wise, we’ve gotten better each year — from 3-7 the first year, 5-5 last season,” said Burgdorf. “I think overall, from top to bottom, the program has also gotten better.”
Don’t look for the Wolverines coaching staff to allow their returning and incoming players to rest on their laurels based on this watershed season.
In fact, it’s just the opposite.
“We keep preaching to stay hungry and stay humble,” said Burgdorf.
“We’re thankful … but we’ve got [more big ball games] coming up.”