by Bulldog Head Football Coach Harv Welch
The big picture is that we need to build a “Program”.
“Program” defined: “A team that is competitive every year.” EHS does not have a foundation because we are always changing coaches. Coaches coming in know they have to win now knowing they will be let go in three years. Consequently, they build from the top down. (No foundation.)
I am an older coach and I am not planning on leaving and I want to build a solid foundation. I want to develop a “program,” not a one-hit wonder.
I believe we have the necessary ‘parts’ to build a program.
1) Young men who want to play – we have a good nucleus returning for next year.
2) A supportive administration.
3) A supportive school board.
4) An experienced coaching staff.
In my many years of coaching, I experienced the following for the 1st time:
August: MSHSAA mandates our practice to start – which was late.
EHS Board Policy mandates when classes begin. Both mandates only permitted us three days of pre-practice and those could not be in full pads.
By contrast, Webb City had two full weeks of pre-school practice. Being under the time-gun, I compounded the problem of rushing the team as I gave them too much to learn too quickly. I should have known better as I didn’t do a total search as to their overall experience. As a result, we were not ready to play Stockton in our first game. We never recovered from this loss.
Sept:. 6-8 boys quit the team because they were not fundamentally ready to play.
Oct: Due to more lost games, more young men left the team. Several were academic suspensions, several were injured. Several dropped out as the J.V. schedule was concluded and several were not able to finish as they left to go on a school trip.
We went to Lamar with an inexperienced team (23) and these young men played with courage. I was proud of them.
I greatly appreciated the good following as we had good crowds at our games. I know when we start winning our crowds will grow.
For all of the above – it was a gut-wrenching season for all. Unfortunately the boys have to experience this almost annually. I am really disappointed that we didn’t send the Seniors out on a good note.
Until EHS can have 10-12 Seniors graduate with 4 years under the same system, we will have very little chance of winning and become a program. Retention and experience are Key Components that will lead to success.
During my career we have had 6 undefeated seasons. These teams were primarily senior laden teams. EHS would be hard pressed to find a player who played in the same system all 4 years.
How do we get to be a Program?
I will discuss this in a later editorial. In the meantime, anyone wishing to visit with me about program building can contact me at 876-3112 (251) and I will buy the coffee.
I really would appreciate a conversation with you as an individual or your group anytime at any place.
Also, I would encourage each of you to come to our Booster meetings; better yet, join the Booster Club.