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Coaching staff hopeful for future

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Coaching staff hopeful for future

TMK Photography

TMK Photography

TMK Photography

Jacob Mahner & Zach Olds, Student Journalist

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The Rhinelander high school football team has been struggling over the years to maintain a winning record. Does the coaching staff have anything to do with the team being unsuccessful or is it the effort and commitment of the team?

Many people tend to gauge the failure or success on the coaching staff. It takes a lot to be a coach you need to have the time and commitment.

“ I know coach Chris Ferge’s heart is fully into the program he gives so much energy and he’s I honestly think he’s doing everything he can do right now to be helping this program. I think that that is going to show over the next couple years,” said Taylor Kloehn, assistant coach for the Hodags.

Kloehn says the coaching staff has been together as a core group for awhile now and they are starting from the ground and building up as a team and as a coaching staff.

“It has been the same core group of people they’re very knowledgeable we are doing all the research we can about our offense. We go to clinics every year with the help of the Gridiron Club funding some of that stuff and we go to, We take our own personal days and spend our weekends  going to different clinics around the state to learn everything we can about our defense as well. Rome wasn’t built in a day and I think you know given what are coaching staff has been doing over the last four years we will start to see that pay off hugely in the next couple years,” said Kloehn.

Could the failure or success of the football team be credited to the coaching staff, a question many ask themselves,especially considering that this staff has been in place for four years.

“Yeah 4 years is a short period of time, in a lot of sports to make a change cuz ,you have to be able to your change in the offense and the defense so those kids that if those kids that are freshmen are now seniors okay so those those kids that when they were freshmen they possibly were running a different offense and the defense down at the middle school level so it takes quite a while to improve your youth for your program to be more successful,” said Brian Paulson, Rhinelander high school athletic director.

The Hodags ended the season with two conference wins, that is something they couldn’t do the past 4 years. Do these conference wins show hope for the Hodags.

I think the conference wins are big at the end of the year. If you looked at the talent we had on our team, I believe these are two games that we could have and we were able to win these games you know 2 games in the conference build a win you look at one more game and we’re in the playoffs, so I think that every conference game is important because they have the opportunity to put you in the playoffs,” Paulson commented.

The Hodags have some hurdles they need to work on getting over. There are some things they can do to improve.

“We get some kids, we got a few kids that are really dedicated to the program really all in and lifting, All the offseason stuff we do but I don’t think we’re getting enough buy in from the entire team,We are lacking from some of our players. What our players need to work on is being committed and getting in there as often as they need too,” said  Kloehn.

The Hodags put in a lot of a work not only on the field but off the field too. They work well with the community and giving back

“Our team does some things very well and we need to improve on some things, one thing that we do very well right now is a lot of stuff off field that people don’t see. We do female Mentor night, male Mentor night… you know we’re helping out in in the community you know we have a Gridiron booster club that our coaches are involved in,” said Paulson.

The Hodags never gave up throughout the season, the team got stronger as the season progressed.

“ I thought offensively you know we started to move the ball up and down the field, you look back at the Mosinee Merrill  it started kinda slow you know earlier in the year and now by the end of the year we were clicking on all cylinders and we were able to move the ball so I thought that was there was bright to see our offense move the ball what else do all the coaches do, they put in a lot of time you know  breaking down film having a game plan ready a lot goes into the coaching football,” said Paulson,

The Hodags are very goal oriented and very strong with communication,

“Our team is great with communication. I think we are very good at communicating to the team what our plan is and setting a very specific goal of what we need to do this week to give us the best chances at Victory.  We are very goal-oriented, last year a big goal was turnovers, forcing turnovers and we practice it more than we ever had before and we won the turnover battle in most of our games throughout the years so yeah whatever we set our goals to if we stay focused on a goal for the most part we met some of those goals unfortunately not all showing up as  W’s on the record books  but there’s a lot of positive things going on in our program right now,” said Kloehn.

Some of the players have been on the team with coach Ferge all four years, Tyler Olson, a senior spoke about his season this year and his first couple conference wins.

“It’s kind of a winning season this year for me, having two conference wins in one season considering I never had a conference win until this year,” Olson said.

Rhinelander is also curious to see what will happen with the coaching staff next year due to limited wins the last 4 years.

“I don’t know, I don’t think they are going to keep the coaches, but with 2 conference wins it could save their jobs,” Olson commented

There are also some questions on why former head coach Jim Moore, who is now coaching for Crandon Varsity football is so successful but when he was coaching the Hodags he never had a winning season.

“I’ve never had him as a coach personally, but certain coaches work for certain divisions and teams,” said Olson.

The last year for the seniors was a success finally getting two conference wins to end their high school football career as Hodag. There is going to be some big spots that need to be filled by the underclassman but the team should have some hope with the ending of this season.

 

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