Denison Coachs Blog 1 Off Season 2017
The Denison Yellowjackets are coming off a 6-5 season with a loss in the first round of the playoffs in 2016. This is the second trip to the playoffs in five years under Coach Chad Rogers.
How is this your fifth full off-season program going; early on in January?
It is going good; were athletic; were moving around. I feel really good about where we are right now.
How many athletes are in the off season program?
We have about 60 upperclassmen and about 55 freshmen; its a good group; a good size.
What is your primary focus during this part of Off-Season?
We are hitting the weight room hard right now. We are getting stronger and mentally tough. We are doing it the way we are coached.
In the past, you have characterized your off season program as Phases I-IV. Where are you at here in January?
We are almost finished with Phase 1, which is heavy into the weight room. We do have some agility work. In about two weeks - around the first of February we will begin Phase 2.
What does Phase 2 include?
It coincides with track and baseball beginning. We move to quickness drills and add more agility work. We still go to the weight room, too.
I guess the big question is your starting quarterback. Austin Emery a junior in 2016 went down early with a shoulder injury. What is his status at this point? He had surgery and went through rehab work in the months following the surgery, right?
Austin is good; he is cleared to play now. He can and is participating in work. Right now, hes getting ready for baseball. Hes a great pitcher. Hell be ready for us as a senior.
How many returning lettermen do you have?
We have about 30; or about half of that 60 number in the program. We will have seven returning on defense and five on offense.
What about some of the other players returning? Who is set to make an impact?
I expect to be solid all around, but Kenny Gafney running back should step up after a good season with us last year. We also have a couple of young running backs to complement him.
The Jackets were third in district by one point and lost in bi-district play in 2016. What do you expect for 2017?
We are happy with where we are; I expect great things from our team. We will strive to be better and work toward winning district; thats a big goal for us. We are a good, disciplined team.
What should fans expect from the Yellowjackets in 2017?
We are still looking for our identity, but we will have an up-tempo; fast offense and a swarming defense.
As you approach your sixth season, how do you feel about the program and what you have built?
I feel good about it all; I like the consistency. We have a great coaching staff; I love working with them every day. I enjoy our kids and they are responding to what we are teaching them. Its a good situation; Im proud of it.