Season for my 4th grade team - plus highlights!
So to set the stage for this past season, I was ready to be done coaching. My youngest went to high school, I planned to just watch and start Officiating games (which I have found to be very challenging and fun for the most part).
Then my SIL - and her 4 kids, move to our town from Florida this summer and help guide them to a reputable football organization for the two boys to play in, 7th and 4th grade. Of course, I get a call a week before practice starts that the younger one does not have a head coach, the team might fold. Of course, I volunteer after much (not really) debate.
I come to find out, only two kids have ever played tackle before, this team is a flag team and the left-over kids. When I say left over, there are three teams in this org at this age, one is the defending champions from the year before, the second is a team where they heavily recruited the best athletes from flag/basketball/baseball and were selective in who they invited. Our team was the other kids, plus one flag team.
Got a little lucky as the flag team include one absolute beast of a football player.
So we started as a little undersized and not near as fast as the other teams. Being short notice, I told the other coaches (I did not think it would go over well) that if I am the coach, we are running I formation with very limited plays, no shotgun and limited passing. They bought in to the idea and off we went!
I have been a part of this forum for years and I decided early on we would focus on 4 things only
#3 Playing fast
#4 Out hitting teams
If we could be good at those things as a base, then in the years to come we can do whatever schemes we want and be somewhat successful. So, we practiced tackling and blocking and aggression for the first 4 weeks before anything else. We really only had about 6 plays and the goal was to run them to perfection. We ran a simple defense, 4-4, and league rules deemed we could not blitz, and Linebackers have to be 3 yards off the ball. So we did not really practice anything on defense except getting to the ball and tackling. We did move our DE's outside last man on the LOS to help with outside runs, but that was hit or miss as I need more time to work with them. We ended up with a 6-4 record and 10th out of 21 teams in our league.
Our losses were 1 - our second team and they were just better than us, coachs, athletes and everything. We were close to the right place often, we could not make plays. losses 2/3/4 - Fast kids to the outside and one or two deep passes. We also struggled to score against them, as we are not that dynamic, and they could stack the box. We did get out TE pop pass and Power Pass down pretty good by the end of the season to fight the 11 in the box.
We participated in a tournament at the end of the year and beat up a team we had scrimmaged a couple times, and then lost to a team that got second place in their league, I was proud of that.
Also, in the tournament, we decided to grab a couple of the plays from the high school we are aligned with. They run a read option spread, BUT in the tournament, I was allowed on the field as an offensive coach. So I had the two passing plays and two spread running play diagrammed. We actually marched down the field passing the ball and scored to my surprise!
This has probably been the most fun I have had as a coach, and let the team know I will be back next year. I really need to coach my assistants better; I need more from them this coming year.
Anyway, I just wanted to share this with the group!
Highlight film -
Thanks to you a whole bunch of rookies now love this game. Nice job! 👍👍
What is beautiful, lives forever.