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Sunday, April 01, 2012

New Football Coach Takes Helm at Dixie

Coach Tarpley elected to step down as coach of Dixie football.  During his tenure, he has returned Dixie football to a measure of respectability.  Before 2010, Dixie had not had a winning football season since 1983. That changed with a 7-3 record that earned Tarpley coach of the year honors in Division 5. Implementing a spread offense and an aggressive defense, Dixie football improved under his watch.  Being the smallest school in the SWBL Buckeye division, the Hounds are a potential underdog in every league game.

So Dixie had some big shoes to fill in the off season.   This past week Sam Watson was selected to be the next head football coach at Dixie.  He is very familiar with the Miami Valley area having played his high school under Jay Niswonger at Valley View. He is very familiar with Dixie as he was assistant coach before moving up to head coach.  After graduation, he attended college at Otterbein where he was a 3 year starter. Returning from college, he went to Valley View this time as an assistant coach. 

A side note: Dixie is not the only local school filling an open head coach position.  Three time state Champion, Jay Niswonger is stepping down as football coach at Valley View.  He will be an offensive coordinator at Wilmington College.  I have heard that a replacement has been selected, but is waiting upon confirmation by the school board.

Coach Watson then left Valley View and went to Dixie where he was an assistant for coach Tarpley. So having been an assistant at Dixie he will have a good feel for the program and already knows the players.  That will give him a big head start as he prepares for his first year as head coach at Dixie. He is also on staff at Dixie so that gives him contact with the players on daily basis.

Having both played and coached under the spread offense I asked coach Watson what his plans were, “I am going to gear the offense towards the capabilities that our players have, the spread is certainly an option – but not the only one.  The same with the defense, we are going to gear that towards the strengths of our players. We will be aggressive, our defenses have always done that. ”

 About being the smallest school in the league, “Our kids know that, it’s nothing new and they are ready to accept that challenge.”

Coach Watson has already taken over the weight and conditioning program in December, “I’ve had good attendance. Every kid that is not in a winter or spring sport has been attending the weight room.  Then we have also had great attendance from kids who are doing another sport.  The activity level is high and they are all working hard in the weight room.”

Assistant Coaches, “We had one coach leave and go to West Carrollton, which is great for him.  And of course my slot is open – so we are looking to fill two positions.  We are evaluating the whole staff to see how we can optimize their abilities.”  

So look for some changes in Dixie football this coming fall. It will be advantage to have a coach that is already familiar with the league, the school, and the kids.  There will be some changes in philosophy and structure of the offense and defense.  But the amount of turmoil will be much less than if a totally new person was brought in from outside, so once the staff is set, it will be easier to for Coach Watson to introduce his brand of football to the Dixie Greyhounds.  Good Luck next fall!

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