A new beginning with Coach Sean Ford

From the Sidelines

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Greenville head varsity football coach Sean Ford (L) and 27 year former OHSAA football official Mike Stegall (R). (Gaylen Blosser photo)

GREENVILLE – Once again, the Greenville Green Wave football team will be starting with a new coach, Sean Ford. I got the chance to meet and talk with Coach Ford, and I must admit, I was a little skeptical at first, but after meeting him and talking with him, his enthusiasm for football and coaching young men is……genuine!  Amidst the clanging of weights being lifted and music playing, I learned just how intense, and sincere he is to bring a winner to Greenville.

Sean graduated from Tippacanoe High school in 2014 (yeah, he is young!), went to Wright State to become a history teacher, and coached at Bethel while there. He then got a job at Tipp as a teacher and coached defensive backs.

He then went to Tri-Village Middle School, and from there got a history job at the high school, and still teaches there.

He comes from several winning programs, and I asked him what did he foresee for Greenville. “My goal is to coach these boys to the best of my ability and to help them reach their potential, whatever that is.”……”Wins are a byproduct of the effort you put in throughout the year. (that is very important!!)

Green Wave football coach Sean Ford (L) and Mike Stegall (R) … Ring the Bell! (Gaylen Blosser photo)

We are going to play to win, and I think I am a coach who can challenge and inspire players to be the best they can be, not only for themselves, but for the team, a team that trusts each other, the coaches, and proud to be a Green Wave!”

Sean did say that Greenville was young last year, but he has sophomores and juniors playing who have vital experience.  He does feel like he has some talent on the offensive line, which is crucial since he wants to run the West Coast offense. He will run a 4-3 defense.

He does want to establish a system where the boys that play as 7th and 8th graders, continue to play into High School.  (Greenville for the past few years, has had a lot of boys quit playing, which contributes to Greenville’s youth last year and this year.)

I asked him how he planned to keep boys interested from middle school on into High School. “ I met with the middle school staff last week, to make sure that they are running the same program that the High School will run, and using this coaching philosophy, not just x’s and o’s” (including weight lifting, but at a more fundamental level).

He feels this will make them more confident as they grow into the program. “But to keep kids out you have to earn their trust. Football is a tough game, and nobody wants to get their brains beat out every Friday night, they have to be confident in what they are doing, and confident that their teammate is performing as well. Players are going to see that and want to be a part of this kind of program.”

I told him that Tim Goodwin at Marion Local puts a lot of work in the 7th and 8th grade programs.  He wants everyone to know if they go out to play, they will play and he does not worry about wins and losses, it is to get boys interested in football so they can continue into High School. How does he feel about that?

“I coached two years at the middle school level, basketball, and football,” he said, “I understand the role of the middle school program. The primary motivation is not to win those games in middle school, nobody remembers your middle school record, right? it is about coaching the kids in the right way, not only x’s and o’s, it is mental too, so that everyone feels a part of this. There is a bond that is built and when you lose a player, that is heartbreaking to the team because you have been developing those bonds for years.”

Sean is glad he is in the MVL, even though Greenville is the smallest school, he enjoyed the competition at Tipp City, and as he said “It is a great challenge for us to rise up to that opportunity. We will not make excuses about anything, the way we have been playing we have not reached our potential yet, so I don’t think we need to focus on excuses, we need to focus on our team.”

When asked how long it will take to build a program he stated he was just worried about today, making it the best weightlifting day they have had, and when they come back on Monday, do the same thing! Stack days on top of one another.

Sean is a very enthusiastic, confident coach who I think will resonate very well with the players. You cannot help yourself once talking with him rooting for him.  He is genuine, young, and has enough experience to make Greenville a competitor no matter who they play.

If he can receive the kind of support from the athletes, parents, school administrators, and school board that he needs, Greenville will be successful…..I am sure of that. Time will tell, and watching this chapter in Green Wave football should be exciting and entertaining once it gets established!  Good luck Sean, I am rooting for you and the Wave!

That’s the way I see it……from the sidelines!