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Letter from AFM – The Best of the Best

by: Rex Lardner
Editor American Football Monthly
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A state championship is the culmination of a year-round program that includes an extensive off-season strength and conditioning program as well as a detailed summer training program. We asked the state champion head coaches questions about their 2014 campaign. What were their priorities going into the season? What made last fall memorable? What were the keys to the championship season? Did adversity play a part of the season? And, has your coaching philosophy changed – if at all – over the course of your career?

Here’s a sampling of the responses:

“Our number one priority coming into the season was developing a defensive line, which we did. It was our fourth consecutive championship appearance but first win. It was a great way to go out for our seniors.” John Hoch, Lancaster High School (WI)

“The most memorable play for us was our kicker making a 61-yard field goal in a playoff game.”
Bob Hyland, St. Mary’s Springs High School (WI)

“We found that a major key to having a championship season is building your relationship with players. It’s the best way to build your program.” Rick Streiff, Cathedral High School (IN)

“The keys to our season were getting the right athletes on the field at the right position. Then we practiced a simple scheme with repetition in certain fundamentals so that each week there was improvement. As an offensive play caller, I had to maximize our opportunities by getting the ball into the hands of our playmakers. No wasted downs or throw away plays could be allowed in big games.”
Dave Ward, Sedro-Woolley High School (WA)

“We had to overcome adversity. Our starting quarterback had a total ACL tear the Thursday morning of week five as we were getting ready to play an undefeated Abbotsford team. The players rallied around a sophomore who had never taken a varsity snap. He led us to three straight wins and then our starter returned wearing a brace to finish the season and we went on to win the state title.”
Terry Laube, Owen Withee High School (WI)

“I feel I’m a better teacher that I was 10 years ago. I also see a bigger picture for kids than when I started coaching. But we still expect excellence at every practice.”  David Meske, Webb School of Knoxville (TN)

Many of the state champions included motivational mottos for the 2014 season. A few included, “Unfinished Business,” “Earn Perfection,” and “On a Scale of 1-10, be an 11.”

In this issue, six state champions are profiled. We congratulate all of the 2014 state champions.

Rex Lardner
Managing Editor



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