First-year Orrick coach Dave Rash has experienced a little bit of big-school and small-school football in recent years.
He spent the previous two seasons as an assistant at Oak Park, and was head coach at Cameron before that. Friday night lights shine brighter in small towns, and that’s what drew Rash back to the head coaching ranks.
“I think it was the small-town football. There’s one high school in the town, and the community gets behind — not only the program — but the school,” Rash said.
The Bearcats went 1-9 last season. Some key returners include quarterback Dean Opoka, and seniors Merl Lebo (OL) and Tyler Crow (FB/LB). Sophomore running back Alex Stopken will figure into the mix as well.
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The first step to success is getting kids on the field. Rash said some players made the decision to come out late, and won’t have the required number of practices to play in the season opener.
Still, he expects to see growth on a weekly basis.
“Consistency is going to be the big thing in their coaching. They’ve gone through coaches and me being able to be there is going to help,” Rash said. “And like everything else, getting into the weight room, being being bigger, stronger and faster will help.
“I want to see them improve and gain confidence. When you have a team that loses a lot, when something goes wrong, they hang their heads. I want them to go through a game, keep their confidence level up and play through the fourth quarter.”