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The football team is off to the best start they have had since 2010.

Jake Ditto and Sonni Meyers

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In Bo Black’s first year here, the football team ended the season with a 1-8 record and repeated that record the following year. Last year the team finished 4-5 and this year the season began with a 3-0 run.

“We are winning some more games.” Black said.”I think we have some good senior leadership and a culture of kids that care about each other. Maybe the biggest thing is they play extremely hard and enjoy playing the game.”

After 14 years of coaching football at NW, freshman Coach Billy Dent can see the impact that Black has made.

“Black has stayed true to himself by treating players like family, which means being really hard on them but loving on them at the same time,” Dent said. “ It’s not like anything has changed from this year from the way he coaches or the way the staff coaches. It’s just taken four years to change the culture of NW football to get all to kids to buy in.”

Senior Ethan Beaumont has been with the football team for four years. In those years, he has been able to see everything  Black has done to make the team successful.

“ completely revolutionized our football program,” Beaumont said. “ He started focusing on players rather than just the whole team. He focused on everyone being the best they can be personally and bringing them together as a team rather than having a couple of stand out kids that don’t really have to work hard to get there.”

With the addition of things like off-season training, summer camps, new game plans and a more in-depth playbook, players give all the credit to Black.

“Without Coach Black, there is no way we would be successful,” Beaumont said. “He brought this football program from  a 1-8 team to a 4-2 team. The fact that he turned this team from what it was to what it is now is really phenomenal.”

Some of the success can be credited to the addition of three new coaches: Matt Jacobson, Seth Homolka and Ron Parker.

“They have really focused on their players as individuals, made us better as players, people and athletes,” Beaumont said. “In previous years w we had coaches who didn’t  really pay attention and didn’t single you out and didn’t help you out personally. The new coaches have done a good job of that this year.”

Most of the 42 coaches have been with the team for multiple years and have been vital in the team’s success.

“I would also give a lot of credit to Coach (Sedrick) Cook, coach JB (Jay Black) and (BJ) Dunbar, because they’ve been here for the last three or four years,” Beaumont said. “They’ve really helped us a lot. Dunbar helped me get technique down and really taught me how to play cornerback.”

The team is pushing to beat last year’s record. Black believes with the love and passion the team has for the game, it is possible.

“ They aren’t worried about stats, they’re not worrying about the next stage of their life, they aren’t out there trying to get a college scholarship,” Black said. “All though all of that comes naturally, they’re just kids that really enjoy playing. It is a real joy to go out every day with them to practice and it’s a real honor to step onto the field with them on Fridays.”

 

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The football team is off to the best start they have had since 2010.