From the start, it was apparent that Watson Chapel head football coach Jared Dutton puts emphasis on doing everything on one accord and doing it correctly. If one player messed up during a warm up drill the entire line of players had to do up-downs. There's definitely a method behind the madness, and Dutton referenced just that.
"It's a part of championship football," Dutton said. "You have to be detailed in how you think, and you have to do things right consistently. You can't just do half of the things right, and we're training them the right way. We were in the middle of flex run, and it makes them have to think in detail. It holds them accountable, and it's a big part of what we do."
As a group, the linemen were credited for putting forward extra effort in the off season. A majority of the Wildcats showed up for the off season workouts and camps, and Dutton believes that benefited them as far as being in shape.
"I think our linemen as a whole have really worked hard all spring and summer to be in the best shape possible. They got after it early on, and they took it personal as a group. The weather has been unbelievably cool, so they've gotten a break there. We had a full summer, including five team camps, two 7-on-7s, we had three days a week in June, and four days a week in July. Kids who showed up consistently are definitely in good shape. We have to keep pushing and we have to get better. It's going to be a day where the heat index is at a 100, and you have to get accustomed to it."
The WIldcats bring back some guys who are seasoned, but they'll count on the younger guys to step up for depth. Dutton explained how the learning curve for the younger guys isn't extremely difficult, mainly due to continuity from the junior high to the high school system.
"I think they're doing a really good job of catching on," Dutton said. "This is the time of the year where you ask questions, and they're doing that. Our coaches are doing a great job of getting the information to them. As a coach you have to be a great teacher. It's not just about coaching, it's about teaching. Our kids are picking it up, but it's still early on. We push them to think about things in detail. Having our terminology the same from junior high through senior high is big for them."
The Wildcats have a few new coaches on the staff. According to Dutton they've all shown that they're eager to get the job done.
"Our new defensive coordinator is Coach Sam Wamble," Dutton said. "He has spent over 20 years in the district. He was my defensive coordinator my two years at the junior high when we went 10-0. He's coming back out of retirement, and he's a fiery guy. He's going to do a great job. Cameron Wright has come on as our special team coordinator and our strength and conditioning coach. He's had to hit the ground running with special teams, and he's also done a lot with the secondary. He's had his plate loaded, but he's looking forward to it. James Mitchell came up from the junior high, and he's the wide receivers coach. He works hard at it, and he takes it personal for his guys to be at their best. Very organized and all three are very hard workers."
At this point, Dutton wants to see his guys competing with each other to get the best out of the team. There aren't any hand-outs being given, and each player must bring it each time out.
"Everybody knows that you show up everyday and your job is on the line," Dutton said. "It doesn't matter if you're a three-year starter or a sophomore. Kids have to show up everyday to work hard and earn that playing time. Omar Allen is one of the ones who shows up everyday. He'll get his touches but he knows he has to work . Devin Curry and Jakobi Jackson are working hard, and Compton is right there. On the O-line and D-line everybody has to earn there spots. We want our kids to be fearful of the guy behind him. Having competition doesn't allow your guys to get complacent."
Watson Chapel's first game of the 2017 season will be against the crosstown Dollarway Cardinals.