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Interim Head Coach Brings New Life to Football Team

Corey Johnson, Staff Writer

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Being a sophomore here at Kentucky Wesleyan College and being a part of the football team, there have been some positive changes towards the KWC football program. With Coach Brent Hosclaw being exempted and Coach Tauren Smith taking his potion as the Interim-Head Coach, the mid-season has definitely attracted and brought new tendencies and attributes towards the team and the football program itself. Seeing this transition myself, I definitely feel Coach Tauren Smith is trying to take KWC football’s expectations to the highest level. His standards are tremendously different from Coach Hosclaw. He observed what failed and turned it around to something successful due to different coaching philosophies. Coach Hosclaw’s perspective of coaching football was not the best, but it also was not the worst. The job just did not get complete, so, therefore, someone else was better suited for the job with more experience, passion, and pride for the game.

Coach Smith has made a complete turnaround to what he wants in the football program: what he wants the players to know about the game of football, how to keep growing and getting better every day, having a different mentality, and playing as a team. From my experience last year, I didn’t feel much of the team work that we needed. I felt like we easily gave up and didn’t have a strong mentality because we were not very confident in ourselves or our head coach. Now, with Coach Smith, the atmosphere is totally different, with more positive attitudes, efforts, and mentality. The teams vision last year was not very strong, exciting, or uplifting like it should have been, and that is why it failed in a lot of areas.

Going into this year’s season, Coach Smith made sure that the vision was totally different from last year, projecting a new set of guidelines, rules, and objectives. One of his statements is, “Control the controllable,” which means control what you can control and take responsibility for your specific job. This statement has stood with the team so far and has given us the mindset to excel and continue our passion for this season to be successful, pushing us to a higher level that we know we can reach. He has put faith and strength in us to overcome what we could not before, and that has become the biggest accomplishment. One of the teams we played this season were very difficult to beat last year — not because we couldn’t compete, but because we didn’t have a strong mentality, the hustle, focus, or teamwork needed to defeat them. Playing the same team this year, I have seen a tremendous amount of growth, especially within myself. We persevered and stood together as teammates, and day by day we are holding each other accountable and to a higher standard as a team.

Our team really takes responsibility when it comes to someone getting injured. A few people last year were injured, and some teammates did not step up and do their part. They did not prepare themselves well enough, which is another example of why we failed. This year a few players have already been injured, but back-up players have really stepped up and taken the place for those hurt. These teammates were prepared and realized that, as a team, you need to have each other’s back.

This year we needed a change. I know it’s not all going to come easily or quickly, but overtime, I know this football program will be exactly in the place where it needs to be. The only thing we can do is to keep progressing, pushing forward, being positive, fighting for what’s ours, being a team, and, most importantly, valuing this opportunity. Many don’t get the chance to go to the next level, and I become more grateful for this honor and to hopefully keep moving up higher as my passion grows deeper. This experience has taken fear away from me to face anything out on the field — big or small, I know I can defeat it, and that I am not alone.

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Interim Head Coach Brings New Life to Football Team