What Does Our Football Program Really Look For?

Kaydence Mata, Guest Contributor

A press conference took place on Monday, Oct. 1 in room C11. Coach Cody Gilbert and Coach Jason Vines came to talk about their pasts and their goals, but the most interesting was their message to all the football players, not only about playing but also life.

“We have a lot of kids that are really good about doing their job,” Gilbert said. “But I will credit some of the seniors that we have on our varsity football team for their time, and their effort, and their commitment to our program. Some of those guys being like Payton Vaughn (safety), Bradley Crawford (cornerback); they stand out to me.”

Coach Vines also added a few other names of student-athletes to this list that stand out to him.

“Some of my guys would be Cooper Moorman (lineman), Drey Owens (quarterback),” Vines said.

Vaughn’s thoughts about being one of the players mentioned and one that believes the football program needs more men like the seniors they have today.

“Coach Gilbert has been a mentor throughout my high school football career, he’s the reason I love this game so much,” Vaughn said. “I really feel like the bond we have as a team is what makes us special, and the senior leadership is better than it has been in previous years.”

Moorman added his thoughts as being one of the players mentioned as well.

“It really means a lot coming from Coach Vines,” Moorman said. “The football program needs a lot of positive characters in it because that’s how we win. That’s what helped us so much this year, having so much positive energy in this program.”

He also adds: “This is the best group of guys I have ever played with and I know it’s going to be an amazing year.”

To Coach Vines, character is far more impressive than anything any player could do.

“We want them to be good players, but being a good person is the most important thing,” Vines said.

Coach Vines explains that he is never pressured by any parent or student to play a certain kid and he expects his athletes and parents to know that.

“We do what’s best for the team as a whole we don’t do favoritism,” Vines said. “Every one of our players knows that.”

Gilbert makes this direct and knows that his players never get overwhelmed with the pressure of winning or losing because his message is more than that.

“We really talk to our kids about the sky being the limit,” Gilbert said. “We’re really big on talking to our kids about our process as a program. And our process is making sure that we’re working hard and focusing on the one.”

To Vines, before even looking at how the boys play, he makes sure they show the character that the program needs.

“Well, the first thing we look for is commitment,” Vines said. “We want our young men to be well-rounded and to be very good students. Being a young man that is wanting to grow with character, responsibility, and effort. We want our players to represent our community in the best way they can and to represent themselves and their families.”

The coaches talked about their favorite quotes that they base their daily lives on.

“Bad company corrupts good character,” Gilbert said. “And it’s just a message to those kids to make sure they are hanging out with people who prioritize the same thing that they are.”

Vines added his own.

“We’ll fight until hell freezes over and then we’ll fight on the ice,” Vines said. “The meaning of the message is continue to fight no matter what happens. Bad things are going to happen but as long as you keep fighting you still have a chance.”