New football coaches add new perspective

By Emily Johnson

Lisa Joerling, reporter

New head football coach Joel Applebee has one main goal for his football team: to improve every day. The seven assistant football coaches are also new and have specific goals for the season.

“My goal for this season is to be a better coach every day. I would love for the team to be able to make the playoffs this year,” assistant
coach Justin Pickens said.

Applebee agrees and sees coaching as an opportunity.

“I’m excited to coach in a very nice school district. I’ve heard great things and the administration is so supportive,” Applebee said.

Applebee’s seven assistant coaches all have different positions to help the team from coaching offensive lines, running backs, and wide receivers.

Each coach has a different goal, but they all agree on one.

“Our main goal for the team is to see our student athletes improve everyday from the classroom, to the weight room and the field,” Applebee said.

The players are also noticing a difference in how practices work.

“Since I’m a linebacker I do a lot of tackling drills and we scrimmage at practice a lot,” senior linebacker Michael Hardy said.

New offensive and defensive schemes have been put into place; they now have a spread offense which is a pass- heavy style of football.
The team also has a 4-3 defense which utilizes four down linemen and three linebackers, however the team will switch up defensive fronts when necessary.

“I’m not sure exactly how they did things last year, and honestly I’m not very worried about it,” Applebee said.

According to the coaches they are focusing on things they can
change right now.

“I believe if we focus on the small things, the bigger picture such as wins and championships will take care of itself,” assistant coach T.J. O’Neill said.

Focusing on changes for this season the coaches have put months of time into the team and explain what a huge time commitment coaching has been.

“So much work gets put into this; I work roughly 12 hour days,” Applebee said. “Coaching takes so much time out of your family life, but having the support of family helps.”

Even with the time commitment, Applebee has seen the time as worth-while with his players.

“It’s a lot better than last year, they work us harder this year and I just feel stronger,” Hardy said.

The coaches spent their summer planning and preparing for the upcoming season by forming plays for the team.

“Summer is extremely busy, we are preparing for the season and trying to get everything ready,” Applebee said.

Even with the time commitment, Applebee and his coaching staff enjoy watching the team succeed. Among their successes is the team’s current winning record of 2-1.

“I love seeing our players enjoy working hard and winning together,” assistant coach Michael Kline said.

Applebee agrees.

“My favorite thing is working with the young men, seeing improvements, and having an impact on their daily lives,” Applebee said. “I also love watching the joy they get out of playing.”

(Visited 11 times, 1 visits today)