The Fannin Rebels football team struggled to a 1-9 season, under first year head coach Gregory Chambers. Chambers recently sat down with fetchyournews.com to discuss the challenges and triumphs of his first Fannin football season as head coach.Chambers spoke about the struggles of the season from the lack of depth to the lack of size of the team.
“The season, it didn’t go the way we wanted it to obviously. I felt like some of the big issues we had was depth. We didn’t have a great deal of depth on either side of the line of scrimmage. That hurt us offensively and defensively.”
Chambers also acknowledged the differences between being the head coach and the offensive coordinator.
“As a head coach, the first season, probably one of the first things you learn is instead of just being concerned with offense now you’re concerned with the defense. You’re concerned with the special teams. You’re concerned just with the logistics of just simple things, from pre-game meals to helping organize the booster club. So that was from a management stand point, as the season went on those were just things that I dealt with that was different from before.”
Chambers spoke of dealing with a slew of injuries that thrust younger players into roles that were not anticipated at the beginning of the year. He pointed out the new field house allowed for the ninth grade players to be placed together, yet near enough to the team that players could be brought up to varsity if needed.
Chambers also spoke about the balance between the need to fill a position and the responsibility of not placing a player not quite prepared for varsity in harm’s way.
“The parents don’t like to hear this, but if you had your choice you really don’t want any ninth graders starting. You would like for them, the ones that are maybe a bit more physical, the ones that are a bit more mentally ready; you’d like to be able to use them as a sub to get some reps, but from a parent’s stand point it’s great because their son gets to start in a varsity game. From a coach’s stand point you don’t want to throw them to the fire too soon.”
Chambers also addressed the challenges of moving from AA to AAA.
“It was a huge jump, even though there were some teams in there that were in AA with us. In the last several years they’ve been able to maintain depth and maintain size and we haven’t. We don’t have the size that we had back in 2006 and 2007. We’re trying to get them to that point, but right now we don’t have a lot of big kids, even in our school. I’m constantly trying to find kids that are interested or wanting to play.”
Chambers spoke about the outlook for next year.
“Our outlook for the spring is hopefully we go into it healthy. We obviously had a serious injury with our starting quarterback. He’s doing good; he’s ahead of schedule, and he’s rehabbing hard. They’re telling him he should be good by the summer. So we should have him back. The big thing I think going into the spring, you know we have 10 days, we want our kids to work out hard. We’re going to push them in the weight room throughout the off season to try to get stronger and we’ve got to get back to the point around here of getting physical at the line of scrimmage.”
Lastly Chambers discussed encouraging his players to participate in wrestling during the off season, as a method of being better conditioned and more fundamentally sound.
“We do encourage them to do that (wrestle). Now a lot of our kids play other sports. We just have a handful of kids play basketball, but we have several kids wrestling (an estimated 25). We’ve got some kids that play baseball so they start in January. We encourage them to play other things but we do encourage them, if you’re not doing anything else go out for wrestling.”
Chambers appears to have taken the lumps of last year’s season in stride, and looks forward to applying the lessons learned for future Fannin football success.