HAMPTON, Va. - After finishing with a 6-and-5 record last season, Hampton hopes to make a big leap in 2016.
"We're looking this year to go undefeated and win a championship - nothing less," said Pirates junior defensive back Brendan Cole.
And it will take little things to get those big goals accomplished.
"It's the difference between wins and losses," explained Hampton head coach Connell Maynor. "So it's the little things that guys don't think matter, that really do matter."
The Pirates sweat the small stuff off the field, too.
"Like leaving your flip flops in front of your locker," Cole noted.
Flip flops or not, it's certainly no day at the beach if a player does manage to mangle the little things.
"I don't think you have to dog cuss them," Maynor said. "I've never cussed them. But I will get up in your face."
"A lot of people look up to Coach Maynor, and we want to do well for him," explained Pirates senior receiver Twarn Mixson. "When we see he's upset, that makes us want to get to it."
"It's the most respectable fuss-out you're ever going to get," Cole said of letting Maynor down. "He's not going to cuss at you, he's not going to put his hands on you or anything like that. It's more of a disappointment."
Since cursing is not an option, words like dadgummit, golly gee, drat or fiddlesticks may have been thrown around after the Pirates had to replace their starting quarterback and starting running back, who were both seniors last season.
"We always say nobody is bigger than the team," Maynor added. "Next man up has to step-up and get it done. We need everyone else around - the receivers to play a little better, the o-line to play a little better and the running backs to run a little harder."
Play a little better. Just another little thing that can help Hampton achieve big goals.