Now, as the team prepares to face Harrison tonight in Kennesaw, Budde will see just how far the message sunk in for his players.
A year ago, the Wolverines fell 21-16 on their own field. Tonight, they hope to show the Hoyas what it feels like to lose in front of a home crowd.
“They are always excited to go out on a Friday night and perform,” Budde said. “That’s what they work hard all week for.”
Budde added that it might even be easier playing on the road than at home.
When the Wolverines are on the road, players eat together right after school before boarding the bus. When they arrive at the game site, they immediately get dressed and begin warming up.
There’s little, if any, down time.
“There is less going on when you travel,” Budde said. “When we play at home, there is a lot more time you have to fill up. I think playing on the road is easier for us sometimes. I think the bus ride is a good chance to get focused.”
The Wolverines will have plenty to focus on.
Amid two years of coaching disarray, two constants at Harrison have been quarterback Lorenzo Nunez and receiver Drevon Jones. A veteran offensive line protects Nunez, while linebacker Jonathan Fisher and defensive lineman Joey Connors, a Central Florida commitment, head up the 3-4 defense.
“They have an athletic quarterback who is a junior,” Budde said. “They have some athletic receivers out there who can hurt you in a lot of ways. I think that is the challenge for us.”
Harrison is led by first-year coach Matt Dickmann, its fourth coach in less than two years. Last year, coach Marty Galbraith — hired after David Hines’ resignation following the 2011 season — resigned amid allegations of improper conduct, and former longtime Harrison coach Bruce Cobleigh was installed as the interim coach for the final three games.
As for Woodstock, quarterback Justin Agner, who suffered a knee injury in the Wolverines’ victory over Johns Creek a week ago, should be back on the field tonight. Budde said Agner was able to work out with the team this week.
In the event that Agner is unable to play, or is sidelined again, Alex Motsinger, who scored two touchdowns last week, would take over the role once again.
“We will pretty much start this game the way we ended the last game,” Budde said.
The Wolverines will look to what they call the “12-percent rule” — a guide that states the team will be successful if fewer than 12 percent of its offensive plays end in sacks, turnovers, dropped passes or foolish penalties.
“All it comes down to is execution,” Budde said. “If we aren’t dropping passes or taking sacks or turning the ball over, then we are doing alright. It’s really about controlling us. We need to take care of Woodstock and play our game.”