WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Winning hasn't come easy for the Ashley High School football program.
Since the school opened in 2001, the Screaming Eagles have had just one winning season, in 2004.
Now entering his third season on the sideline with Ashley, head coach Jeff Turner is hoping that the team's summer workouts will pay off.
"It's huge because we get a head start on that because we are doing the basic fundamentals right now," Turner said. "Again, this elevates everything else, and we can start teaching more. It lets us grow quicker."
"You come out and make sure you do it right," senior Freddie Thames said of the summer training sessions. "So you don't continue doing the same thing you are doing wrong the next day."
Players have seemingly bought into the coaching staff's message.
"You do it, and you do it 100 percent," senior Joseph Barbera said. "Practice is harder than a game so that when you are at the game, it's just natural."
The players now hope all the early morning workouts turn into wins. This group of Ashley seniors has won just six games over the past three seasons, and are sick of finishing in the basement of the Mideastern 4-A Conference.
"We are trying to prove something," Barbera said. "We are trying to be better than the guys at the top. We are trying to get there."
"We are working just as hard as everyone else," Turner added. "Do we have a ton of Division I (athletes)? No, but we are working as hard and our attitudes and efforts, work ethic, and numbers, and community support are huge."
The Screaming Eagles will find out on Aug. 18 if that work has paid off when they play host to Southern Wayne.