For Weeki Wachee’s Shawn O’Gorman, success has been anything but a guarantee. O’Gorman has been with the Hornets for their entire three-year varsity existence, and has seen the program reach the make or break stage.
“Being competitive isn’t enough anymore,” O’Gorman stated. “It’s time to go out and win. If you don’t want to win, why play the game?”
The versatile junior has seen time at running back, punt and kick returner as well as slot receiver.
This year, he will be responsible for even more of the offense as he will get looks at quarterback in the “Wildcat” offense.
“Shawn is a hard worker,” Hornets head coach Mark Lee said. “He puts in the time and effort and can succeed wherever we put him.”
O’Gorman echoed his coach’s sentiments and really just wants to help the team win.
“I just want to do what’s best for the team,” O’Gorman stated. “I’ll play offense, defense, I’ll hold the pads at practice if it makes us better.”
The urge to get better has driven the once scrawny 16-year-old and ignited a fire to get him where he is today.
“When Shawn came in he was about 130 pounds,” Lee recalled. “Now he’s dedicated himself in the weight room and is about 175 pounds.”
O’Gorman said he really wanted to pride himself on outworking everyone around him and everyone he’d go up against.
“You get what you give in,” he said. “I might not be 6-3 or 200 pounds, but I can outwork anyone I go up against. The main thing is to control what you can and the rest will take care of itself.”
Over the past year the Hornets have lost quarterbacks Marcus Allen (transfer) and David Tinch (graduation), but O’Gorman wasn’t too concerned about the new signal caller, sophomore Alec Cromie.
“Alec is impressive,” O’Gorman said. “He works hard and is willing to put in the extra time to get better, and that’s important to me and the team.
“With me and (wide receiver Dayonta Patterson) out there, we hope to take some pressure off him and make his transition easier.”
Making other players at ease is something O’Gorman has embraced this season as he takes on more of a leadership role.
“I wouldn’t call it being a captain,” O’Gorman admitted. “I’d call it doing the right thing. When guys do something good you tell them and when you see them slacking on the weights or something you let them know that’s not how things are done around here. We want to build a tradition, and doing things the right way is how you start.”
The importance of O’Gorman was felt last Friday in a preseason game. While rushing for 145 yards on 20 carries, he was a focal point of the Hornets’ offense in their 14-12 defeat at the hands of Lecanto.
Being a focal point isn’t going to be good enough as the season goes on, however, because for O’Gorman individual results don’t matter; victories do.
“Winning is all that matters to me,” he said. “We went 3-7 last season mainly because we couldn’t get out of our own way. We gave away a lot of games and it ticked me off.”
O’Gorman said he had a sour taste in his mouth all offseason because of the way his sophomore campaign went and didn’t want to see a repeat of it this year.
“We have the talent to go toe-to-toe with anyone in the district,” O’Gorman said, “We shouldn’t fear anyone, because if we go out and execute we can beat anyone.”
While numbers don’t matter to the junior he will be a critical part to the Hornets’ offense this season, and if it is to be a successful one it could be in large part due to his leadership and performance.