HAMPSTEAD, NC (WECT) - Topsail football coach Wayne Inman learned a lesson many years ago that has stuck with him.
"If you want to build something right, No. 1, you have to come out of the ground square, and you have to build it from the foundation up," Inman said.
In his fifth season at Topsail, Inman is hoping to put the finishing touches on the roof of the Pirates. It's a construction project he is taking on with his players.
"We put in a lot of work," senior quarterback Jacob Floyd said. "It starts in the spring and goes through the summer. It's just building that team chemistry during the summer, and building that mindset that we can be special."
Floyd took over as the starting quarterback the final three games of his freshman year, and he has seen the expectations change over the years.
"Win four or five games and that was considered a good season," Floyd said. "So I knew from senior classes my sophomore and junior year that I knew me being a senior this year, I wanted to change that culture."
"He knows what we want before we want it, before we call it," Inman said of Floyd. "He sees what we see a lot of times. It's almost like having a coach out on the field."
The Pirates also have one of the most dangerous playmakers in the conference in sophomore running back Noah Lavalle, who rushed for 1,300 yards as a freshman.
He wants more.
"I had a goal at the beginning of the season to get 2,000 yards and 15 touchdowns," Lavalle said. "I have to stay healthy. My blocking needs to be good, and (I hope to) be undefeated this season."
"Noah is a threat every time he touches it to take it to the house, or make a long gain," Inman said of Lavalle. "Noah always falls forward, and always keeps his feet moving. The things Noah does aren't things you teach. They are things he is born with."