Expectation levels have returned to their elevated status for the Jonathan Alder High School football team.
A season after making a return trip to the state playoffs and by bringing back a majority of their skill position players, the Pioneers will now have to deal with the pressure that comes with higher expectations.
Alder coach Brett Glass has seen his team blossom over the last couple years and already sees a difference on the practice field in just the first couple days of practice. He insists the consistency of having the same system in place and kids maturing have made a significant difference thus far.
“We’re pretty much carrying over most of the stuff that we did last year both offensively and defensively, with little tweaks here and there based on personnel and stuff,” Glass said. “Being my third year doing the same stuff over and over, you can really see the difference.
“A lot of our older guys have been doing this since they were freshmen. Having a veteran group of skilled kids, especially kids like Trey Pugh, Austin Fooce and Andy Koenig who all have been starters on the offensive skill side for three years kind of makes things easier. That and having a second-year quarterback are making things go much smoother. We’re actually way ahead of where we have been in the past.”
What his team hasn’t really had to deal up to this point is performing at a high level when big things are expected of them. That will likely be the case this year as the team appears to have a championship look to it.
“We’ve talked about (expectations),” Glass said. “I also told them that sometimes the hardest thing to do is be the hunted instead of the hunter. Most of the people outside of our lockerroom didn’t expect us to do what we did last year and now they do. I told them that sometimes the hardest thing to do is handle those expectations with the same hunger and attitude like we had last year.”
Reach Chris Miles at 740-852-1616, ext. 1618 or via Twitter @MadPressSports.