Thursday, November 27, 2014

Coaches instill new mindset for OHS football team

By Greg Mast/Herald Sports Editor | 9/4/2013

There is a new mindset for the Ottawa High School football team. New coach Rob Hedrick and his staff has instituted a different outlook.

“The past has nothing to do with us,” Hedrick said. “We are a brand new team. We set some good goals.

There is a new mindset for the Ottawa High School football team. New coach Rob Hedrick and his staff has instituted a different outlook.

“The past has nothing to do with us,” Hedrick said. “We are a brand new team. We set some good goals.

“I want us to have a mindset that it does not matter who we are playing, we have to come in with a confident mindset.

“We are confident in our assignments. That should make us a confident football team.”

The new-look Cyclones open the season 7 p.m. Friday at home against Prairie View, a team Ottawa has beaten the past three years.

“We have been talking about this week all summer,” Hedrick said. “We are all excited. Hopefully the parents and community too.

“There is nothing not to be excited about the first week.”

Ottawa’s confidence comes about knowing the systems and thinking positive.

“We are not afraid of anybody,” Hedrick said. “We are going to be mentally tough. We want to contend for the conference title and win the district. I really have confidence we can reach those goals. We have the kids that can do it.”

Ottawa has a team-first attitude. Several players have changed positions for the good of the team.

Others have given up their starting role and playing in a reserve role.

“Putting team first is not always easy,” Hedrick said. “We have some returning linemen that are not in the starting lineup.

“That is tough for them too. Hopefully it is rewarding for them. That is the mentality we need to have.”

The big movement has been in the skill positions and line. Andre Lewis, a former all-league receiver, will play quarterback, running back and receiver.

Kord Ferguson and Cory Peoples moved to running back. Peoples also moved to defensive end to pair with Ferguson to give Ottawa bookend defensive ends. Tanner Wright, Cole Reed and Dalton Weidl has moved to the offensive line.

“Offensive line looks pretty good,” Hedrick said.

Freshman Isaac McCullough will play quarterback when Lewis is in the other positions.

“The team has confidence in him,” Hedrick said. “He has a lot of confidence in what he has done in the summer.”

Hedrick said the defense will carry the team early.

“The defense should be solid,” he said. “The defense was so good getting turnovers last year. We looked good in practice offensively.

“You never know how it will look on game day. You are going up against another team’s No. 1 instead of your two’s and three’s.”

Hedrick said this year’s seniors made the transition to the new coaches easy.

“The seniors have done a fantastic job of leading,” he said. “They will have a lasting influence on this program for years to come.”

The 11 seniors are Ferguson, Peoples, Weidl, Alex Lynch, Brandon Church, Brandin Bell, Franklin Windler, Tyler Brown, Lane Chambers, Zach Dillard and Aaron Miller.

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