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New head coaches settling in

Published 5:59am Saturday, August 18, 2012

The 2012 football season is coming up quickly for the five teams in Franklin County. For two of those teams, Phil Campbell and Red Bay, that means seeing what brand new head coaches can do with their new teams.

Jason Hill, the new head coach for the Bobcats, has done what he can to prepare for his first season not only at the helm of Phil Campbell, but for his first head coaching job.

“I feel like I’ve sunk my feet as deep into Phil Campbell as I can,” he said. “I feel like we’ve had a good first week of practice.

“Monday was not the best practice in the world, but it was the last day of two-a-days and the last day they had to get up at 6:30 in the morning and put on full pads.

“Starting on Tuesday we were on school schedule, so the team will be used to being on the field and practicing at 3:30 p.m., and that’s what time we’ll practice when school starts.

“I feel like it will be good to get in a routine because they are learning what my expectations are for practice.

“They are learning how to practice fast; because the faster we can practice the faster we’ll play.

“Practice during the week is a direct representation of how well they’ll play on Friday night.”

Tigers head coach John Ritter, also in his first head coaching job, has helped Red Bay’s team prepare for the upcoming season, though he had a shorter amount of time to do it in thanks to the coaching carousel at Red Bay this summer.

“It’s gone really well,” he said. “The kids have responded well to my style of coaching.

“My assistants and I, we all have kind of the same outlook and coaching style as far as trying to get every ounce of energy and effort out of the kids.

“I think the other coaches and I and the players have really meshed and gelled well in a short amount of time.

“I’m very excited. These kids at Red Bay are hungry and they’re very passionate about what they do.

“I think that this year is going to be a special year on a lot of different levels. These kids are like family to each other, and I’m proud to be part of that family.”

Though the two men are coaching different teams, they have similar goals for this season.

“I want to be competitive,” Ritter said. “What I mean by competitive is, I want to win the games that we’re supposed to. But at the same time, I want to beat the teams that we’re not supposed to as well.

“I just want to go out and make sure these kids play hard and represent Red Bay, this community and this school, the very best they can.”

“My expectations are the same every week,” Hill said. “All I ever ask them to give me is everything they’ve got.

“Whether or not that turns into a win on the scoreboard on Friday night will depend on who we’re matched up against.

“If they prepare like champions, then go out and play and give everything they have for me, then regardless of what the scoreboard says they’re going to be a winner in my book.”

The Tigers will host the Bobcats in Red Bay on Sept. 21.

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