This past high school football season, I had the opportunity to do something that I have always wanted to. I had the opportunity to coach High School Football at Sedro Woolley High School with my old high school coach Dave Ward! I have always considered Coach Ward one of the best in the business and to have the opportunity to learn what it takes to be a great coach; it was something that I could not let pass me by. Another neat thing was being able to work with Marshall Lobbestael former QB of Washington State University.
Would I fit In
While taking on the adventure of coaching High School Football, I wasn’t really certain on how I would fit in or how good my coaching skills were, since the experience I had, has only been coaching at the youth level. At the youth level I was pretty successful as I only recorded 9 losses of course of my 7 year run. One of the things that helped me along as I have always ran Coach Wards Offense. Coach Ward Runs a modified Wing-T. What the Wing-T consists of, is lots of misdirection. But where it is modified is you can run it out of shotgun and throw out of it.
The 2006 State Championship
Where coach Wards offense really took off was in Oak Harbor. In 2006 Coach Ward was at the helm of a State Championship team lead by Marshall Lobbestael & Edmundo Corrales (who I also coached with in Sedro Woolley) people would think you just run all the time out of it, but that was not the case as that year Oak Harbor was a passing team hints the name Marshall Lobbestael & Rodrick Rumble who currently just finished up his senior season at Idaho State University & is the record holder for most receiving yards in school history!
Meeting The Community For The First Time
During our introduction to the community I have to say I was completely nervous as I have all these parents staring at me when I was being introduced as the new freshmen coach. I just sat their telling myself no pressure Gerry, as you just have to sit here and smile. After all introductions where complete we had a little time to do a meet and greet. As I sat on the stage the very first person to come up and introduce himself to me was a kid named Austin Thomas. The thing that stood out the most is the handshake Austin gave me. It was real firm and all he could talk about was how excited he was to get the season started. So we chatted about what position he plays and how is born to play football. Just a neat kid who made small, but big impact on how my first season was going to go and the feeling of being excited about the upcoming season. I was also introduced to a 6’3 262 pound freshmen hockey player! All I could say to myself when that introduction took place was holy cow you play hockey! As it turns out this young man who has never played football before can play and I am sure to bet, if he sticks with playing football he will be a force for a long time and we will see this kid on Saturday afternoon’s.
A Life Altering Event
A few weeks after the meet and greet I happen to be on Facebook & searching the internet for past Sedro Woolley stats and I came across a story saying a young teen who was on the football team had drown. I was speechless and started feel extreme pain for the parents of Austin Thomas. As parents we are not supposed to bury our children. I also thought about that chance meeting with Austin and just remembered how excited he was for the upcoming season. My heart really broke that day!
I took the opportunity to pay my respects at the memorial service that was held at the high school and just take in and hear about how Austin was a great person, friend, and outstanding community member. At that moment I knew I was supposed to be coaching on Dave Wards staff. I knew one of my jobs was to be there and help the team heal and grow from this life altering event that just took place.
Yes I Am In Sedro Woolley Coaching
My first thought on the first day of practice was, “I am in Sedro “Frickin” Woolley and I played with this one kids Uncle” Just goes to show you how small the world is, or Washington State for that matter. I was hearing from some of the staff who work at the high school, on how great the kids are and how hard they work and needless to say the kids came out and proved that.
As practicing progressed we informed the team we would be setting up a scrimmage against Oak Harbor High School. All I could think about was I hope my friends don’t hate me for jumping ship to coach at the high school level in Sedro and all my old kids who coached through the years wouldn’t hate me for wearing the blue and white. When I pulled up my mind-set became I have a lot to prove that I can do this, and my kids can compete with a bigger school. As the kids started to trickle in I lead them to the locker room and I stayed on the field to be greeted by all of my former kids I coached and it was nothing but hugs all the way around and lots of wishing me luck on the season. As the scrimmage began to take place the only thing that mattered was me making sure I put my kids in place to be successful and learn the offensive scheme that coach Ward brought to Sedro Woolley. I was also thinking about how I just want to call good plays Vs a pretty darn good team. My first taste of calling plays in a High School setting was success and I felt really good about the day and knew Coaching Sedro Woolley football is where it is at.
Finding My Place & The Big Six
When I was initially hired onto Coach Wards staff I was brought onto coach the freshmen team and start building the youth. As it turns out it, I would end up heading the JV & Freshmen program. At first it was a little tough, but I found a way to make it work. When my roll expanded it gave me an opportunity to really find out what our young talent could do. As it turns out we had six freshmen who we suited for Varsity. One of them started and the rest played special teams while picking up some spot duty. My other job while coaching both JV & Freshmen was position coach of the running backs. Varsity JV & Freshmen. During this coaching period I had a chance to learn even more in regards to how to coach at a high level from coach Ward.
In Closing I am Very Thankful For My Time Spent This Past Fall
If I had to pick one thing that was the best part of my season, I would have to say, it was everything. Meeting a great bunch kids, parents , and staff members. In any case I just thought I would share my experience I had coaching the boys in Fall! Go Cubs “GoWithGo”
Some Pictures From The Season
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$210,000 : 8224 Davis Lane, Sedro Woolley3 beds, 1 three-quarter, 1 half bathsHome size: 1,720 sq ftLot size: 12,632 sqftListing provided by Keller Williams Rlty Marysvlle
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(all data current as of 7/23/2016)
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