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Sunday, April 24, 2011

South Football Under a New Head Coach

South Football will be under the helm of a new coach this fall. Lance Engleka was recently voted in by the school board after the resignation of the old coach and has hit the ground running. He has already met with the team and is implementing a strength and conditioning program for the kids. “Even with baseball and track in season, the workouts have been well attended. I like the leadership that I am seeing from the seniors.”

He has an Ohio background, but has spent some time out of state. He spent 4 years in the Navy, and coached at Buford high school outside of Atlanta, Georgia where he helped coach the offense. In Ohio he graduated from Miamisburg high school, he attended Miami University where he played baseball, and coached football in Centerville and most recently in Middletown – again on the offensive side of the ball.

Middletown was his most recent coaching position and they featured the spread offense. Coach Engleka stated that most fans think of a spread offense as constantly throwing the ball. But the system at Middletown allowed more flexibility and so there times when they ran more out of the spread than passed. It was adjusted according to the players you had at time. At different times they had strong players in various positions and so they adapted the offense to match the skillsets they had to work with. So the spread offense is something that we could be seeing more of from South.

It is noteworthy that Engleka has been with winning programs – Buford had a phenomenal run where they made the playoffs several years in row, the football team even received a letter of commendation from the Georgia state legislature and Middletown has made the state playoffs the last two years, even defeating perennial powerhouse Moeller the year before last. This year Wayne beat them on the way to the State Championship. Although he has a lot of experience with large Division I schools like Centerville and Middletown, he stated that Buford was closer to TVS in size – so that gives him some perspective on small school football where there will be many players going both ways.

Although he comes in with a lot of coaching experience on the offensive side of the ball, he is not neglecting the defense. Coach Householder, an alum of New Mexico State University, and who has spent about 30 years in football either as a player or coach will be in charge of defensive duties. He was most recently coaching in Springfield. Coach Engleka is expecting big things from him. Coaches Maddox and Albright are being retained and will round out the coaching staff.

One thing that struck me is that towards the end of our conversion he stated that he enjoyed seeing the players during the strength and conditioning sessions. It gave him a chance to meet and get to know the kids off the field – so that that they knew that this was more than just about football. That is a perspective that I like to see. He also came off as sincere and focused. Attributes that we like to see in our coaches. South football has been very cyclical with long valleys between the peaks. Here’s hoping that South rides to a new peak with their new coach.