TEMPLETON — The Templeton Eagles football season is officially underway and with it the second stint of head coach Don Crow. Crow returns to THS, where he was the head coach from 2004 through 2008, after stints at Atascadero and Morro Bay, bringing over 30 years of football experience to the program, and a 39-16 record last time he was in the green and white.
Until the Eagles play a game under the lights we won’t know what changes Crow has made to the defense but what is clear is that he brought with him a new mentality and renewed passion for the weight-lifting program over the summer and the boys on the team have taken notice.
“Physical strength [is the most noticeable thing from last year to this year],” Templeton senior linebacker Blayne Twissleman said. “Last year I didn’t really work out, to be honest, or at least not that much but this year coach Crow has made it interesting and I have never physically been this motivated and it’s been a blast. Everyone has been there, our attendance has been good, and just makes it fun maxing with everyone.”
It is clear just by walking around the Eagles practice that they have not only committed themselves to the weight room but have also started focusing on the little things like committing themselves to being a team and keeping each other accountable through the summer.
“Well there are a lot of differences, mostly our intensity and our dedication,” senior offensive lineman Arnel Osuna said. “We definitely stepped it up. Everyone devoted their time into this and you can tell they really want to have a good season. We are conditioning a little more, getting in better shape...and when we have lifting everyone is there and what is good is that we have come together as a team where we can keep each other in check and just make sure everyone is there for the team.”
Neither the X’s and the O’s nor the Billy’s and the Joe’s have changed that much from last season to this one in Templeton but their young team from a year ago is now full of seniors and experienced players than want to go out with a league title in the back pocket.
The Eagles head coach from a season ago, Tyler Lane, who stepped down from head coach to spend more time with his family, is still on the staff and will continue to coordinate an offense that was explosive a year ago and might be even scarier this year as it seems the Eagles have moved their explosive slot receiver, Tyler Kaschewski, who accounted for almost 800 yards and eight touchdowns to quarterback to get him more touches.
Kaschewski paired with Mike Avery at tailback and their experienced receiving corp, the Eagles offense might be causing some sleepless nights for opposing defensive coordinators.
However, coming into the year everyone knew the Eagles offense would still be potent, it was the defense that surrendered more than 40 points a game a year ago that needed some tweaking and that is Crow’s specialty.
“I love having him,” Twissleman said. “He brings a more intense and physical defense to our program and, I mean, it has been different this year, I have a different linebacking coach but things have been working out great. We have some returns on the line. Our line is pretty small, numbers-wise, but we still have some good returns there. The secondary looks pretty good this year, a lot more physical than last year and our linebackers — our whole defense, they have been really dedicated this year.”
The Eagles will kick off their season with a scrimmage against Atascadero at 7 p.m. next Friday night.