Head coaches want to get the right staff on board

J. Patrick Eaken

        Prep football coaches say it is key to have a staff under your wings that you can depend on.
        Eastwood coach Craig Rutherford has one advantage — he has his father, longtime Eastwood coach Jerry Rutherford, coaching his offensive line. Plus, former Maumee and Bowling Green State University player Evan Karchner, will run the defense.
        “It helps to have a coaching staff which has so much consistency. We have got a good feel for it, and we are excited to see what we can put together,” Rutherford said.
Joining Lake coach Josh Andrews’ staff this year is Todd Witt, who came over from Genoa and will help with special teams and linebackers, and former Bowling Green State University player Clay Rolf (Eastwood), who also helps with special teams. Also back is defensive coordinator Dave Rymers, long time assistant football coach Greg Wilker, former varsity head coach Mark Emans, and throw in assistants Ron Bencivengo, Brian Ringholtz and Larry Folley.
        Helping Cardinal Stritch coach Gene Rucker are assistants Ray Paige, Michael Manders, Tanner Langlois, and Jacob Wagner. Paige returns as offensive coordinator, Manders and Langlois are Stritch graduates, and Wagner, a family member to Rucker, joins the staff this year and the head coach says he “gets a little more pressure.”
        “It’s been great. The one thing at small schools is you have limited resources so you’re coaching staff has to do more. It’s not like at Central where you have a specific quarterback coach, you have a DB coach, linebacker and running back. You have to be able to do a good job to bounce back and forth and come into work every day,” Rucker said.
        One consistent in Waite’s favor is Aaron Peacock’s coaching staff, and he takes pride in talking about them. They include Wayne Golliday, Lloyd Donaldson, Justin Barrett, Darren Owens, Lindsay Schuler, Tyler Slawski, Antonio Spears and Allan Thompson.
        “It’s the same coaching staff from last year. This is what Waite has needed — you know what I’m saying? They had three coaches over the last four years before I got here, and that is what we’re trying to eliminate. We want consistency and coaches who want to be here. That is what we are trying to build on. And, most of my coaching staff are Waite grads,” Peacock said.
        Then you can throw in coaching styles, which has also affected the game. Northwood coach Ken James says more teams are playing the spread, but he does not believes that is always the answer.
        “The spread is good now if you can run and throw, which creates huge issues for people, but if you are one-dimensional, it’s easier to deal with,” James said. “The spread got real popular and it turned into a scoring machine for a while, and then defenses caught up and there are zone blitzes and all sorts of goofy stunts. Defenses are showing one coverage and running something different and all of that, so now the offenses have to catch back up.
        “The thing that has become different to me is that teams are a lot more physical up front. So when those teams run into a team that can run the ball, for example, they have trouble stopping them. You see a lot more games where it is 54-50 at the end of the game, which is cool for the fans. Our goal is to score 21 points a game — on offense that is our minimum goal. Our lowest output last year was 36. It is just the way it is.”
        (The 2021 Press Football Preview featuring 10 area teams can be found inserted into this week’s edition).


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