I'm a coach's wife, telling a story the best I know how. It's important and I want to get it right! Jump on the train quick for the Temple Wildcats are gathering steam! Their destination is unknown but their desire is for greatness. Prayerfully join us as God unfolds a new chapter. They've all been good but I won't be surprised if He's saved the best for last!
Monday, October 17, 2011
Killeen Daily Herald....
Right coach can make a difference — ask Temple ______________________________________________
Sunday, Oct. 16 2011 12:03 AM
It doesn't take long.
Mike Spradlin has proved that.
In his first season as the head football coach at Temple, he has taken the program from one of the worst 5A programs in Central Texas to the cusp of a playoff berth.
The 23-8 win Friday over Belton proved that the Wildcats are back.
And that good coaching makes all the difference.
Now, Temple isn't going to win the state championship anytime soon. But, back-to-back wins over Harker Heights and Belton put them in the driver's seat for a one of the last couple of playoff spots — after Copperas Cove and A&M Consolidated, who play each other Friday in a game that should decide the District 12-5A championship.
And the quick turnaround shows what the problem the last few years at Temple really was. And here is a hint — it wasn't a lack of talent.
District 12-5A just got a lot tougher. There are no easy wins anymore.
Temple is on the rise already and not even Shoemaker, which has lost 28 games in a row, can be circled as a guaranteed win.
Sure, the Grey Wolves still have not won a game, but at least they are watchable.
And to be fair, Channon Hall has a much larger project on his hands than Spradlin did.
He has no depth and only a few really talented players on that team. Temple had at least little bit of both — running back Gaylon Sanders is the real deal as is quarterback Zach Allen.
Regardless, though, Hall should lead the Grey Wolves to a win this season — Ellison you are officially warned. Shoemaker isn't the same team it was when the Grey Wolves started the season with a 22-game losing streak.
They have been creative on offense and have found a way for the defense to be even better. Yes, the Grey Wolves always had a sound defense. But ever since Jameill Showers went down with a broken collarbone before the 2009 season, they have not had an identity on offense.
Hall has slowly been giving them one, installing wildcat formations with speedster Johnny Jefferson. And until Friday, when they lost 37-0 to A&M Consolidated, it had been working.
Yes, every program has its ups and downs over the course of its history. But, it is always a coaching that makes the difference.
In the early 90s, Copperas Cove was the doormat of the district — the laughingstock. They won a combined seven games from 1990-93.
Enter Jack Welch and it turned around.
Sure, it took a bit of time. It didn't happen that same season, like what Spradlin is doing in Temple.
But, it didn't take that long. In 1994, Welch's first season, Copperas Cove went 5-4-1 and tied an Ellison team that had beaten them 35-0 the previous season. Three years later, the Bulldawgs made the playoffs for the first time since 1960 — 38 years of futility. Cove has made it every year but one (2003) since.
Belton coach Rodney Southern inherited a team much in the same way. While Belton had actual success in its history, in the three years before Southern took over the Tigers they were a dismal 4-26, and had two winless seasons.
Now, five years later, Belton is fighting to make the playoffs for the third straight season, and if they can beat Bryan, will indeed make it.
Why? Rodney Southern is a darn good coach.
It is that simple.
Mike Spradlin? Darn good coach.
That's why he outfoxed Southern on Friday. That is why Temple edged a solidly coached Harker Heights team two weeks ago.
That is why the Wildcats seem poised to make the playoffs.
And that is why District t 12-5A just got a lot tougher.
EDITOR'S NOTE: To find out how these coaches built these programs for success, check out our three-part feature series "Building a Program," beginning Friday in the Blitz.
I'm a 'middle-age' cheerleader happily married to my high school boyfriend! I call him Coach.... because he is one! A Texas high school football coach to be exact...and the finest man I've ever known. I love him. I love encouraging him and our three 'twenty something' children (aaahh...just the thought of them brings tears to my eyes)plus a growing family and many precious friends. All of which have blessed me deeply! And that's why I love to cheer!