Q&A: Majors Football Preview with Coach Wells
Mount Vernon High School football coach talks goals, new approach to training for the upcoming season.
Mount Vernon High School football coach Barry Wells is about to embark on his third season coaching the Majors, and with that, has taken a new approach to training his players.
In his third season of coaching, Coach Wells has found himself with a young team with 15 seniors in the mix. Coach Wells has decided to take some new approaches with his team this year, including not assigning captains for the year, but on a game-by-game basis.
"I feel like there's always that chance for complacency when a guy gets selected for the year," Wells said, adding that it gives his seniors something to work hard to earn.
The Majors have had five wins and five losses the last two seasons, and Wells is aiming for the Majors to break that trend and make it to the National District championships this year.
Patch caught up with Wells before practice this week to discuss the upcoming football season.
Patch: How are things shaping up for the season?
Wells: Things are shaping up. There are some areas where we’d like to be a little stronger from at least the time I’ve been here. We have good skill positions, they typically are, that won’t change much. We lose a little on the offensive line. Overall, I think the kids are embracing the system and execution is a bit further along that we were at this point last year. We’ve kind of changed some of our offensive approach based on personnel, adapted based on what the kids are doing skill-wise. The kids are grasping the concepts, they seem to be comfortable with them and how we’ve been installing it, showing them in the classroom, reinforcing [skills] at a couple different levels.
Patch: What are your goals for the season?
Wells: Our first goal is to win our season opener. We haven’t done it in the two years since I’ve been here. We want to win our first game out of the gate and set the tempo and momentum for the rest of the season. I want to eclipse the 500-mark. We’ve been 5 and 5 since I’ve been here. The team is poised to do better. I think in year three there are some expectations internally and externally to see the program moving forward. And we want to win the National District. We came very close in year one when we played Yorktown in the National District. Last year we had our struggles and we didn’t get an opportunity to play for district title. That’s our goal – to have the chance to play for championship.
Patch: What’s the team’s attitude this year compared to last?
Wells: We’re looking forward to it. The kids are excited. There’s a slightly different attitude with this group of seniors as opposed to last year. They are a more cohesive group and not as many individuals as last year. It will be interesting to see if the dynamic continues and see what things spawn out of it.
Patch: How do you think the Majors stack up against other National District teams?
Wells: I think the team speed-wise we can probably hang with everyone in the district. Strength wise a little under par. We like our chances based on some of the things we plan on doing. One thing about the National District is it seems like on any given night any team can win. It gives the team hope going into season.
Patch: What are your thoughts moving into your third year of coaching the Majors?
Wells: I feel like the program is moving in the right direction. And when I look at the JV and freshman group coming in, I think the future is bright. There’s a little more coming through the pipeline than there has been previously. If we can get to size of our competitors we can make some noise in the area. I want to bring them along so they can make a contribution when time comes.
The Majors will play the West Potomac Wolverines in the Battle of the Highway at Jeff Todd Field on Aug. 30 at 7 p.m.