Jefferson coming together with new coach

By Matt Nestor
Sports Columnist

The Jefferson J-Hawks had a simple goal last season: end a 16-game losing streak.

It became 17 before the streak ended. And after winning that one game, the team didn’t win again the rest of the year.

That has led to a new coach for Jefferson, with Rick Schmitz coming on board. And while things have been frustrating at times for the new coach, he feels his new team is starting to come together.

“I’m not sure what they think of me. They probably think I’m half nuts, if not completely,” he said. “We’ve got some pretty good kids. They work hard and they’re meshing together. As a coach, that’s all you can ask.”

The J-Hawks are again fielding a young team. While they do have returning players like Gerrion Jones and Royce Dixon, for the most part, they will lack experience coming into the season.

“We have a number of kids that it’s their first go-around,” Schmitz said. “We talked about just getting better and we talked about adversity. Everyone can go along when things are going well. When the wheels start falling off, we’ll see what we do.”

Schmitz said his team has worked hard this summer preparing for their season-opener. And he hopes his team comes out ready to compete from the opening kickoff.

“We want to be tough and moving until the whistle blows,” he said. “Knowing what we’re supposed to do, not being out of position and hustling.”

From the Aug. 25-31, 2010 issue

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