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home : sports : local May 26, 2016

7/22/2013 6:00:00 AM
Commitment pleases Kingman High coach
Kingman High football coach David Ward addresses his team Thursday morning. Ward said he’s had an average of 45 players show up for summer conditioning as the Bulldogs get ready for the first day of practice Aug. 5.
Kingman High football coach David Ward addresses his team Thursday morning. Ward said he’s had an average of 45 players show up for summer conditioning as the Bulldogs get ready for the first day of practice Aug. 5.

Rodney Haas
Miner Sports Reporter

KINGMAN - With three weeks to go before the official start of football practice, Kingman High coach David Ward has been pleased with how the summer has gone.

Since the end of school, he has seen an average of 45 players showing up at 6:45 a.m. every day ready to lift.

"I'm very pleased the kids have shown up. That's all I can ask for, a lot of effort," Ward said. "I've never been in a school where the kids are giving a lot of effort, where you walk in and you have 20 kids ready to go. I've never seen that.

"It's rejuvenated me. A lot of people said it wouldn't happen and it did. I didn't create these numbers."

While the number of players attending summer workouts is encouraging for a team that finished 4-6 in 2012, Ward is dealing with a big negative. He still doesn't have a full coaching staff.

"You probably need eight to 10 coaches and right now we have five," he said. "It is a concern. I'm not talking coaches that can be a position coach or a practice coach. I need coaches that look at the field and say, 'Safety is cheating on the right side and on the nine technique, run inside.' I need guys that can audible and see the field. I need game coaches that adjust on the fly."

Ward compared the coaching situation with that of having a boat. You may have a nice boat, but if it has hole in it, it's going to go down.

"In football, if you put a hole in that boat, it could go down. There is more things that could go wrong to cause it to sink," Ward said. "There's nothing's worse than losing the game by a field goal, missed point after, or a kick return because you didn't have enough coaches to break that down in practice. Nothing is worse than losing on a technicality because you didn't cover all the bases."

The worst case scenario for Ward, if he can't fill out his coaching staff, is calling both sides of the ball - something he said he doesn't like to do.

That coaching shortage may put a little more pressure on the seniors, if they are willing to take the responsibility. Ward said they need to step up and take more of a leadership role and become that extra coach.

"You may have senior players that are good but you need to have senior leadership," Ward said. "I'll give up senior ability for senior leadership. The team is going to get better because of the senior leadership."

The Bulldogs will wrap up their summer conditioning with a football camp this week at the high school. The camp will replace the annual camp the Bulldogs attend in Show Low.

Ward said the camp came together at the last minute. He is bringing college players in to help coach the camp.

"This way I know what I'm getting out of it," Ward said of having his own camp.

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