Muskie head coach Bob Swing is looking to add more coaches to help out with the junior football program this fall, which may soon be split up into two teams (grades seven/eight and grades nine/10).
Swing said the younger team would play in a league against Minnesota ones while the older squad would continue to play an exhibition schedule as the traditional Muskie ‘B’ team.
It also would continue to play games against American teams.
But Swing said in order for the idea to work, they need more coaches to help out—even if it’s only on a part-time basis.
Bob Fryer was the head coach last season, and will be a co-coach this year alongside another person who has yet to be confirmed.
Swing stressed it would not be a time-consuming job.
“The only person who has to give 100 percent of their time is me,” said Swing, who will be entering his third season at the helm of the black-and-gold.
“It doesn’t have to be a big commitment,” he added. “If we get enough coaches, we can piece it together and make sure people cover for each other.”
Swing said success depends on a step-by-step process that would take about three years. First, enough coaches would have to come out and volunteer their time. Second, the Muskie program would have to visit district elementary schools to see if there’s enough interest for two teams.
And thirdly, more equipment would have to be purchased to accommodate the additional players.
Swing said if all things go according to plan, he expects to have an additional junior team suited up after the completion of the upcoming season.
He predicted they wouldn’t have much of a problem getting interested players to come out, or purchasing the equipment. But if there’s another teachers’ strike this fall, he warned there might not be a football season.
“If we don’t start the season, or if we just miss two weeks, we won’t have a season because there’s no way we can get the coaches to re-set their schedules,” Swing said.
“If the teachers walk out, there’s no way we’ll be playing football,” he stressed.
In fact, on-going discussions pertaining to teachers’ “prep” time may affect all high school sports next for the 1998-99 year.
The football squad, looking to win its third-straight NorWOSSA title, is slated to play a pair of exhibition games before the league opener Sept. 9.
Meanwhile, four players from the Muskie program—Chad Canfield, Terry LaBelle, Barry Rodriguez and Dan Both—left this week to attend camps in Saskatchewan and North Dakota.
LaBelle, the leading rusher and scorer in NorWOSSA last season, and Canfield, a fullback who will be playing on the defensive line at the camp in Regina, will benefit greatly from the extra time on the field, said Swing.
“The older camp will give the guys the exposure to university coaches. But the North Dakota camp is a good one in that the kids are taught a lot of techniques and the camp helps turn them on to football,” said Swing, adding several Muskies have attended the UND camp in the past.