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Osborne Cardinals building off historic 2022 "experiences"

The 2022 Georgia High School Association football season was filled with many historic moments for various teams throughout the state, including the Osborne Cardinals, who finished with their first winning season in over two years. And while the Cardinals finished last season at 5-5, their history making season began with a five game winning streak, which was more than the combined wins of the previous six seasons for Osborne. Now, heading into year three under head coach, Luqman Salam, the Osborne Cardinals look to continue building a winning culture, learning from their 2022 experiences.

“I think that we were able to experience some things that we needed to be able to experience as a program to go to the next point,” Salam said as he reflected on the 2022 season, which gave the Cardinals four more wins than they had in year one under Salam. “From year one to year two, we made tremendous strides,” Salam added however he did not hesitate to note that as a program, they realize that “we have work to do so what that last season was able to tell us was, this is how far we’ve come but this is how far we have to go,” Salam said.

Salam went on to say that he believes that the 2022 season also gave his players a better understanding of playing football at a “higher level” as they head into their second season in GHSA’s highest classification of 7A. “I think more than anything, it was a learning opportunity for us to give us some understanding of what level we’re playing at and what we need to do to get there,” Salam said. And as the Cardinals wrap up week three of summer workouts, commitment by players has been an area that Salam and his staff have been impressed with as their guys continue to grasp that “understanding” of playing at a high level.

“Just seeing the number of kids that are here, here on time bright eyed and bushy tailed and ready to go. They want to do something that's never been done here and they would to do something that hasn’t been done in a very long time,” Salam said of the Cardinals’ players and their presence and “work ethic” this summer. Salam added that older players have also stepped up, which has been a major plus for the program. “What you’re starting to see now are the older guys taking charge. They’re taking charge of their team and they’re able to tell the younger guys, not just x’s and o’s or how to play football, but this is the way we do things here. ‘This is acceptable, this isn’t acceptable,’ and so seeing them become little mini coaches on the field and in the locker room has been a joy to watch,” Salam said.

With roughly two months before the 2023 season officially kicks off with the Cardinals opening up against Woodstock, Salam and his staff are looking forward to their players taking “ownership” of all they have learned thus far and still being willing to understand and grasp what they may still need to learn in order to be successful in their development. However, Salam says that it will be important for them to understand that things will not happen overnight and that “it’s going to be something that we have to grind out day in and day out, practice after practice. Be a little bit better tomorrow than they were today and those little steps will lead up to the big accomplishments they want to see,” Salam added.


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