Wayne Hills Football
Wayne_Hills-linkChris Olsen takes a very simple approach to how he runs the Wayne Valley High School football team.

“Each kid gets treated fairly,” Olsen said.

Walking through the hallways with Olsen it is clear that he just wants players who try their hardest. He is very straightforward with what he expects from his players. He stops one player in the hallway and asks him why he is not at practice. He talks with a parent whose kid was out sick for a few days. He wants dedicated people playing for him because that is how he coaches.

He addressed players through the public address system at the annual preseason maroon and white game. He didn’t shout or yell, but he encouraged those players who did the right things on the field and constructively criticized those who needed to needed to be.

“What works for one guy might not work for another guy and what works that day might not necessarily work the next day,” Olsen said. “It depends on a kid’s mood and what kind of day they’ve had.”

Off-season workouts, seven-on-seven drills in the summer, getting to work at 6:30 a.m. and not leaving some days until after 11 p.m. are all part of the job. He credits his coaches with the success the program has enjoyed in recent years.

“The amount of work the coaches have to put in to be successful is unbelievable,” Olsen said.

For the players, the hours they put in might not be as long as the hours Olsen puts in, but he expects the same level of commitment from his players as he gives to the program.

“Especially in a sport like football where, on every play, 11 guys have to all do the right thing,” Olsen said.

And you can’t argue with the results. Six state championships and a 55-game winning streak put the Patriots in an elite group of schools. The players wear shirts that say, “Roll a 7!” for a seventh championship ring. Posters with “The Ring is the Thing” on them hang in the locker room. But Olsen treats his players and coaches the team as if the team hasn’t won anything. He keeps his players grounded in the moment. He doesn’t make them dwell on the past and get caught up in what’s to come. His assistant coaches and him have one goal week to week: focus on the next opponent.

“We prepare them for what they are going to see on both sides of the ball,” Olsen said. “We’re not too philosophical about it.”

During a film study Olsen gets right into it.

“Pay attention. We’ve got to know what were doing and know exactly where we’re all going,” Olsen said. “We’ve got to look sharp.”

Olsen said that the team, who, at press time, was 4-0 and playing well, there is still room for improvement. At times Olsen sees things he really likes from his team.

“Just when I think we’re getting better we make some mistakes,” Olsen said. “Missing blocking assignments and some failure to recognize things at time. There have probably been some mental mistakes and probably some careless mistakes. Usually in high school the teams are pretty evenly matched and the team that makes the fewest mistakes has a better chance of winning.”

Players are given DVDs of game film to study, something that not all football programs do. Some players learn through visualization, others through repetition on the field.

“It’s no different than teaching,” Olsen said. “We’ve got to find a good way to teach each kid and get the best out of them.”

Finding the correct combination of players to put on the field can be a tumultuous process, for the coaches and the players. Vigilance, perseverance, and humility are all part of the process for all parties involved.

“Kids want to win, but they want to play. It’s very simple: If you want to play you’ve got to be the best guy at your position,” Olsen said. “There’s always a reason why someone is a starter and why someone is a backup. Depth is huge. We’ve had kids come in and step up and you try and build that into a program. They might not be as good as the person who they are replacing, but you can’t fold up the tent just because someone gets hurt, you’ve got to have someone else ready to go.”

Practices are run with crisp efficiency and intensity.

“Down, down, down,” assistant coach Chris St. Genis said during a tackling drill. “Squeeze, squeeze, squeeze!”

Players are separated into groups. One group works on kickoffs. Another works on rushing the quarterback. Some players work on offense, others on defense.

“Why would you give up on that,” Olsen asks during a passing drill. “If the ball’s a little long you keep running toward it. The moment you outstretch your hands you slow down. Go to the ball.”

Olsen and his coaches are not afraid to be honest with their players. During one drill an offensive lineman incorrectly blocks a defensive player.

“What are you doing? Why are you doing this,” Olsen asks as he moves his arms up close to his face and stands next to the player. “You’ve got to put your arms out like this,” he says as he demonstrates the correct blocking technique to the player.

“He treats everyone the same,” said K.C. Kardux, a senior defensive end. “He teaches you not only about the game of football, but teaches you how to become a better person.”

 wayne_hills-1wayne_hills-2wayne_hills-3

 

 
200 OK

OK

The server encountered an internal error or misconfiguration and was unable to complete your request.

Please contact the server administrator at [no address given] to inform them of the time this error occurred, and the actions you performed just before this error.

More information about this error may be available in the server error log.