The Trousdale County Yellow Jackets recently completed their first spring football practice under first-year head coach Brad Waggoner.
Coach Waggoner sat down with The Vidette for an interview and gave his perspective on the Yellow Jackets’ performance. Look for Part 2 of Coach Waggoner’s remarks in next week’s Vidette.
Q: One of the comments I heard on the first day of practice was ‘We’ve done more hitting in this first practice than they’ve done the last couple of years.’ Was that an effort on your part?
A: Our goal this spring, and our goal going forward, is to be the most physical football team on the field every Friday night. In order to do that, you’ve got to practice that way. It’s not just going to happen on Friday night if you don’t practice that way. The tempo, from an effort standpoint, has got to translate. We’re pushing that same principle in the weight room, to how we do conditioning, to how we practice on the field.
I think to the people who played years ago here at Trousdale, it probably was always the standard. It’s been a different philosophy the last couple of years, but my philosophy, and the way I see the only way we’ve got a chance to be successful and win on Friday night, is we’ve got to be the most physical football team.
Q: How have the kids reacted to the toughness of practice?
A: The kids have been very receptive since January. We still have along ways to go, but I’m starting to see results. The effort’s there. I thought that over the nine days of spring practice, we got better and more physical from Day 1 to Day 9. I think it showed in the scrimmage. But I told them, there’s no question we got better, but we’re still a long ways away. The first day of summer workouts, everyone’s here, everyone’s ready to go, and we look better today. I tell those kids every day, ‘The only thing we can control is getting better today, then get better tomorrow.’ Every day we keep getting better. If we do that, then in November we’ll be where we want to be.
Q: How has the transition gone from running a spread offense the last two years back to the Wing-T?
A: I think it goes back to being physical, being tough. The transition has not been tough. A lot of these guys, especially the older guys, were all in it at one time, whether in middle school or when the seniors were freshmen. Believe it or not, I would say it hasn’t been a major transition. Are we where I want to be right now? No. But I think we’re getting there. It’s going to allow us to be where we want to be.
Q: On defense, do you have a particular plan on 3-4 vs. 4-3, or a little bit of both, or something else entirely?
A: We’re going to be different on defense. I’m going to be changing the defense from what we did last year. I want to be able to go back and do what I’m accustomed to doing. We’ll have a different defensive coordinator in that spot. We’ll know who that’s going to be soon. Right now, I’m doing both sides. On defense, I want to be simple but I want to be fast. I want to use our athleticism, to play our responsibilities, play quick, and not think out there. Just play our responsibilities. If we do that, we’ll be fine. But we’ve got to be good playing our base defense no matter what the situation.
Q: Do you envision hiring a replacement for Coach (Tony) Butler or bringing someone up from the current staff?
A: I envision bringing someone I know in. We haven’t posted the job yet, I think that will happen this week. But my vision is bringing someone I know. If that doesn’t happen, we’ll do some different things, but I will probably do a lot of it myself. It’s not quite ideal, but I want someone who can fix things the way I want them fixed.