Football returned this past weekend as the Clopton-Elsberry IndianHawks made their annual trek to Hermann to participate in a Jamboree.
There was one difference however, a new coach. Well sort of a new coach, Butch Wolanski.
Wolanski has been around the IndianHawks program for many years coaching and lending his expertise. This year, the buck stops with him and hopefully the opponents running game.
Putting up points last year wasn’t an issue on offense, it was the defense. Primarily the run defense and this season Wolanski is hoping for a big change as they transition from a 3-4 to a 4-3 defense.
“The loss of 200 tackles with three seniors graduating isn’t something easy to overcome,” said Wolanski. “Our depth on the defensive line will be better this season. We have some good linebackers coming up but they are still young.”
While keeping the run game in check is a must, the number one goal for the IndianHawks this season is simple...have fun.
“We want to remind the kids why they started playing this game in the first place, to have fun,” said Wolanski. “If we start having fun they buy in a whole lot more, which means less mistakes.”
Simplifying the game and getting back to the fundamentals of football is a high priority.
“Tackling, route running and simply throwing and catching a football,” said Wolanski. “It seems simple but a lot of times you get caught up in the X’s and O’s and forget the basics.”
As for the Jamboree, Friday to Saturday was like night and day as far as being on the same page.
“Getting on the same page with a new coach can be hard. Things such as the flow of the game, calling plays, lining up in the right position, we didn’t do that well on Friday,” said Wolanski. “However on Saturday we started to really get into a groove. By the time August hits we will have it down.”
One thing new for this years team is a three day retreat at Redemption Ranch in Winfield during early July.
The team will be working on team building exercises and getting to know each other.
“It’s hard to go to battle on a football field with someone you really don’t know,” said Wolanski.
Following the retreat will be a two week summer camp in July and then practicing begin mid-August.