BCP, June 8, 2018- Here’s a list of my top 10 quoted honorable mention coaches that speak most true to the passion they have for mentoring young athletes in the exciting sport of high school football we know and love.
- “History doesn’t remember the cowards who ran when things got hard. No one cares if you had to stack the deck to win. Loyalty is the most important trait a man can have.” ~ Coach Freioud, Northeast. I ranked this the top quote because Coach Freioud has journeyed through much adversity with his program, and he’s definitely familiar with the traits that make up a successful mentor and man.
- “We have very good athletic ability- that’s never been a problem, but you really have to do our work to keep these kids from transferring. There has never been a team from Pinellas County to win a State Title, but you see Hillsborough has many. Some of these players are being recruited to transfer to other teams illegally- it’s a cancer.” ~ Head Coach Cap, Dixie Hollins. This quote lies at second place because of the accuracy he portrays when explaining the transfer system coaches must deal with yearly.
- “Being able to adjust to their personality teaches us to be humble in what we do, they are out here to learn and so are we. We constantly have them moving, working to get better every practice, trying to build that muscle memory- don’t come to the table if you’re not hungry!” ~Coach Arthur McCoy, BCP. I put this statement at number three for the fact of the pure abilities these local coaches possess to push incoming kids to bring their full potential to the table and teach them the qualities of a hard-working man with compassion.
- “They’ve bought into process, I’d say the biggest thing is getting them reps together, spending time together and bonding. We do “Hog night” where once a month, we take our lineman out to dinner, so we definitely take pride in our linemen at East Lake, and constantly tell them the team is only as good as they are- not to put pressure on them but we wouldn’t be a team without their work.” ~ Head Coach Hudson, Eastlake. This quote shows me the underlying appreciation a smart coach preaches to his team to be grateful for the major component to success- the front lines.
- “I would have to say the characteristics that make up a highly productive defensive lineman and defensive line are: Big, Quick, and Strong. Size does matter! I’m not solely speaking of the physical stature of a defensive lineman, but also the size of that organ that pumps blood throughout his body- Heart! A defensive line unit that works together like a pack of wolves in pursuit of their prey will be a terror for any opposing offense.” ~ Linemen Coach Blount, BCP. The wise words from an articulate man that depicts the key focuses of a courageous front defensive unit to have a winning blueprint is why his quote stacks up among the top 5.
- “Kids back in the old days went to the school they were zoned for and wanted to make plays and win; that was goal. Back then, they were in it to be the baddest dude on the field, wanted people to fear them- you may have known a couple guys on the other team, but you wanted to kill them. Now there is 7on7, camps, unofficial visits- always something to do. We have the deal with these camps and handlers, and social media; all kinds of outside influences. It’s all about offers- everyone thinks they are a full scholarship kid, but not everyone is; parents and kids think High School coaches are the ones who give offers, when in essence the kids make all the plays and we just sell what they do.” ~ Coach Crawford, Pinellas Park. Coach Crawford is a great speaker to his group of guys and I favor these words because me being a younger man, he helps me delve into and paint the picture of the good ol’ days when guys put more of a competitive soul into the game out of pure love and toughness up top.
- “I love working with these kids at a young age because they soak it up like a sponge, if they’ve got bad habits we can teach to break them and teach them that the main thing is always effort and attitude.” ~ Coach Matt Wroe, BCP. Coach Wroe’s positive words gets recognition ranked at seven because he’s invested his time and sweat to the younger generation of soon-to-be athletes and sets an example for the next wave on the right path.
- “We’re knocking on the door of changing this program as a team. Goals when I came here late last year were needing to change Dixie Hollins football culture- how the community, the players and coaching staff saw the organization. We did this with three things- Accountability, Responsibility, and Discipline.” Head Coach Cap, Dixie Hollins. Coach Cap gets another featured bold statement because he’s got a lot of character and energy under his belt and he knows what it takes to build a foundation from the ground up to move a program in a positive direction; anyone who’s been around him will tell you this and more as well.
- “We’re over the honeymoon phase, the strength of the team is our O-line and run game; gotten bigger, faster, stronger, and kids are buying into our process with a chip on their shoulder, we’re on the rise- people are going to pay attention.” ~ Head Coach Matt Kitchie, Lennard Longhorns. When I talked to Coach Kitchie about the organization and his new self-motivated players, he has nothing but good input about his team, and is very excited to kick things off with his gritty bunch Day 1.
- “The one thing we have to do moving forward is we have to work harder than we’ve worked, we can’t do the same things we did last year. Have to be in better shape and more prepared because we’ve got a target on our back, so we have to come together as a team; there are a lot of new faces and no one is going to go easy on us, we are defending champs.” ~ Coach Larry Shannon, Venice Indians. Coach Shannon and Venice football had a victorious State Title year in 2017, and it’s tough on the block for raining champions- everyone wants a piece of you and his new and old faces are prepared for the grind, ready for what’s next in store as top dawgs going into 2018.
Vaughan Sixbury, BCP Contributor