|
Dover Post
  • Back to School: High school athletes and coaches prepare for the fall season

    • email print
      Comment
  • Going back to school is about more than books and homework. It also means home games and homecomings.
    Coaches and players are busy getting ready for the upcoming season. We talked with Sussex Tech Head Football Coach Mark Quillin about the season ahead and what fans can expect.
    The Ravens posted a 5-5 record in Coach Quillin’s first season at the helm in 2013, a two-win improvement from the previous year. Tech looks to take the next step forward when they open their season at home against A.I. duPont on Friday, September 5.
    Sussex Countian. How do you get your team prepared for a new season?
    Coach Quillin. Tech football started to prepare for next season the day after our 2013 season ended. As coaches we attended several coaching clinics as a staff along with meeting periodically to modify offense and defense to be the best we can be. Our players have been training since December. The summer was filled with 7 on 7 and team camp at Syracuse University, in which we took 53 players.
     
    Q. Any new changes in players, strategy?
    A. We have many starters returning from last season, so there will be some familiar faces on the field. We moved Justin Hill to quarterback and moved Jamont Mathews to split end. Our offense will stretch the field horizontally and vertically this season. Our defense has moved to a 4-2-5 which is more versatile verse the run and pass.
     
    Q. How do you motivate your student athletes to achieve both on the field in the classroom?
    A. I’m very lucky to have a great coaching staff. Most of my coaches are in the building so we push our players to be the best on the field, in the classroom, and in life. Football teaches so many valuable life lessons which our players embrace and hopefully become better people through the great sport of football.
    We spoke with Sussex Tech Running Back Kani Kane about how he prepares for the season, and what he expects out of the Ravens this year.
    Sussex Countian: What’s the hardest thing about preparing for a new season?
    Kani Kane: Conditioning is the hardest part. We need to condition well to be a top team.
     
    SC: What do you want to accomplish this year besides winning?
    KK: Play as a team. Some of the freshmen have already played with some of the older guys and we pretty much have everybody else coming back. I think we lost three or four starters but we just need to play as a team.
    Page 2 of 3 -  
    SC: What do you look forward to the most at the start of a new sports season?
    KK: Playing on offense. I like defense too, don’t get me wrong defense wins championships, but I love offense.
     
    For another perspective, we spoke with Delmarva Christian Cross Country Head Coach Jim Sumstine. The Lady Royals cross country program is still in its infancy and looks to take another step toward substantial growth in 2014.
    Sussex Countian. How do you get your team prepared for a new season?
    Coach Sumstine. My main goal is just to have runners do miles on their own and show up in season in-shape with some miles under their belt. I also try to come up with new workouts that are both challenging and fun. Challenging them to get them the work they need, but fun so that they enjoy it and will keep coming back.
     
    SC. What do you see as the biggest challenge ahead for the team this year?
    JS. We have many freshman, two boys and two girls. Anna Shipley and Brianna Taylor, both freshmen, seem to be able to handle the work and hopefully it will translate on the courses. It’s tough to coach beginners, every year it seems like we’re reinventing the wheel, but we have fun while we work hard.
     
    SC. Any new changes in players, strategy?
    JS. With a new gym and new athletic fields, it’s opened up the school and surrounding areas that will enable us to have a nice 3.1 mile course. The school has nice athletic facilities which will hopefully encourage students to take advantage and enjoy the sports culture the school has created.
     
     
    SC. How do you motivate your student athletes to achieve both on the field in the classroom?
    JS. On the field I always try to be upbeat and positive. No negative energy allowed. There is no “I can’t,” I always tell them that I never ask them to do something they can’t do. I want them to be successful. Workouts will challenge them, and when they complete them, I want them to have a sense of accomplishment.
     
    Incoming freshman Briana Taylor spoke about how she’s preparing for her first year with the Lady Royals girls’ cross country team.
    Sussex Countian: What’s the hardest thing about preparing for a new season?
    Briana Taylor: For me, the hardest part of preparing for the season is getting past the mental game especially with this being my first season of cross country. Pushing myself towards the end of practice is hard, but I know it will only get easier as the season progresses.
    Page 3 of 3 -  
    SC: What do you want to accomplish this year besides winning?
    BT: Every day I come out to practice I want to be better than the last workout; whether it be a faster time, longer distance, or even becoming a more encouraging teammate. I can’t leave at the same level as the day before.
     
    SC: What do you look forward to the most at the start of a new sports season?
    BT: I’m excited to get out and run every day with my teammates, they are a great motivation for me and fun to spend time with.
     

        calendar