Hardy working on leadership for DHS

Published 10:26 pm Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Tom Causey’s 2009 Demopolis Tiger roster features a number of versatile veteran players. Perhaps chief among that group is senior Anthony Hardy, a talented skill player who spent time as a starter at safety and A-back in 2008.

Hardy, who also returned kickoffs, proved one of a handful of players who rarely left the field a season ago, racking up stats in a number of categories for a team that came within minutes of the state semi-finals.

While his athletic ability and skill set proved invaluable to the Tigers last season, it was Hardy’s developing maturity that helped him turn a corner and begin to offer a measure of leadership.

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“It came naturally,” Hardy said of the leadership skills he began developing as a junior. “I wanted to win.”

As Hardy heads into his final season, Causey believes the senior’s ability to influence his teammates is improving.

“I think he is starting to step into a leadership role,” Causey said. “I think he realizes this is his last go-round.”

Hardy, who had 1,115 all-purpose yards and 13 total touchdowns last season, explained that the way he views his role on the team has changed along with his class status.

“I’m trying to lead by example instead of just with words,” Hardy said before turning his attention to the one thing he credits with making the biggest impact in his life. “I’m more humble (than I was a year ago). I have God in my life (now).”

“I think his maturity level over the last year has grown,” Causey said. “He’s a fun-loving kid. He has a good time in all that he does. His teammates love him. He’s doing a good job trying to keep it light-hearted for his teammates over the summer.”

While Hardy is developing personally, Causey still also sees No. 5 focusing his efforts on improving his game.

“He’s still got a long way to go as a receiver,” Causey said of the young man he credits with having good hands, impressive athletic ability and formidable size. “His blocking has got to get better. He knows that.”

Causey is more complimentary about Hardy’s abilities in the defensive backfield.

“He’s so long,” Causey said. “He does a great job of covering a lot of ground. Anthony is smart. The stronger he gets in the weight room, the more physical he’ll get.”

“I like to do whatever it takes to win,” Hardy said of his commitment to team success. “We preach ‘new stadium, new team.’ For the seniors, it’s the last year and we just want to go out and accomplish something that hasn’t been around here in a long time.”