South Tama benefitting from second year in new system
TAMA — The theme for South Tama County football this season is consistency, as the Trojans bring back quite a few starters from last season and, more importantly, maintain the same system in head coach Nate Doran’s second year at the helm.
During STC’s second week of practice, Doran said what he learned in his first year leading the Trojans in a Class 3A District 3 campaign will go a long way toward helping the team be more competitive in 2017.
“I know what we will experience now, I know there will be some surprises that I wasn’t expecting,” he said. “Last year I thought we would just be able to get everything just installed and everything would work out but it never works that way.”
While he is the head coach, defense is Doran’s specialty, and at his disposal on the defensive side is a group of talented returners, led by 3A first-team all-district linebacker Tanner Probasco and second-team all-district selection Mario Moncada, who finished last season as first and third in tackles respectively.
Doran said having that kind of talent back on defense and a full year of work in the new offensive system already sets the team ahead of where they started last year.
“Our defense has a lot of seniors returning, a lot of guys with a lot of experience, so I think that is going to be a big part of where our game is,” he said. “Also, we have a year of our offense under our belt. Last year we put a brand new offense in and we were still learning it by week two or week three. Now we have the base down and are looking to add to it, so I am looking for good things.”
Another area that brings back quite a bit of experience is the offensive line, and though Doran said their line isn’t exactly the biggest in 3A, their work ethic should push them over the top.
“Our O-line is our most undersized part but they all played last year,” he said. “They all have varsity experience and they are ready to go. They are putting in tons and tons of work so I can’t complain.”
The line will be protecting a new quarterback this season, as senior Lane Koch takes over the helm of the offense. Doran said Koch has what it takes physically to get the job done, and his work over the offseason should set him up for success this season.
“He’s big, he is pushing 6-foot-2 and he has a great arm,” Doran said of his new play caller. “He is learning the offense quick and I expect big things from him. He is also a captain for us this year and he has really matured, I think he did a lot of stuff this summer that sets him up for this season.”
No matter what the season holds for STC football, Doran said the main thing he wants to see from his squad in year two is a drive to work every day and continue improving as much as possible.
“Biggest thing for us this year, our motto is every day get better. The kids are taking that to heart, every day they want to get better,” Doran said. “They are pushing themselves, we have guys that want to get better. They aren’t going to go out in a game and lay down, they are going to push.
“Obviously we are going to face some teams that are huge in numbers and they have great programs going, but Mike Stein is wonderful at coaching the offense and he knows how to prepare our kids. Defensively, that’s what I love to do and my focus is to keep it simple. Our kids know this is the same thing I’ve been running now for the last six or seven years and the kids know it. That is a big advantage for us that I don’t have to reteach anything.”