A first year coach—whether in high school, college or the pros—is faced with similar challenges; teaching essential fundamentals, evaluating each player’s strengths and weaknesses, guiding the team with a steady and strong hand and managing the team in an organized and purposeful manner.
Not all coaches are capable of taking a fledgling team—with a history of repeated losses—and turn it into one that is competitive. The process is measured by growth in their performance on the field.
So did Coach Armstrong “move the needle” in terms of teaching a solid football foundation and provide the necessary ingredients to build team loyalty and team leaders?
All indications during the season have shown that the raw talent that was evident from day 1 is much improved in terms of offensive and defensive skills. The team has the beginnings of understanding the game of football but has some distance to go in their knowledge and experience building.
One thing that was striking to me by attending all 9 games this year was that the varsity always hung in there—even though the opponents score at halftime ranged from 39-50 points in their favor! They never quit and the enthusiasm was still there.
That positive attitude and team spirit is a testament to Coach Armstrong and his assistant coaches that the team has been effectively managed and mentored to promote team loyalty and unity. This intangible ingredient is what makes an average team excel.
I look forward to next season when the varsity team will have spent countless hours in the weight room during spring and summer conditioning and have had the chance to gain much more football “smarts” with each day that they train and workout.