July 18 2018

Varsity Football Coach Prepares Team for Upcoming 2018 Season

By: Robert Parris

High school football takes no time off, even during the summer.


BNEWS had a chance to chat with varsity football coach Dan MacKay about what the team has been doing off the field.


The Red Devils had major changes during the off season of last year, including bringing in a new head coach and a new quarterback. They struggled to find their groove during the regular season and ended up with a 1-11 record to finish the year.


MacKay has moved on from last season and has taken his time to work closely with the staff and players for the upcoming season this fall.


“We get together as a staff and head to football clinics in February and March,” he said. “The staff and I meet three to four times in the off season to discuss the areas we need to improve on and how we’re going to do that.”


Unlike the NFL, there is no draft for high school. Coaches will have to work with the incoming freshman as they transition towards the new high school system.


“The incoming eighth graders who are becoming freshman in the fall are invited down to the high school, so they can become acclimated to our players and our weight training program,” he said. “During the summer we have the team train four days a week with the training center in Woburn.”


One of the biggest challenges this year is the schedule, which was released this week. Seven of their eight games will be in their division. MacKay said there are no breaks in the schedule and the devils should give every team a hard fought game.


“One of the biggest changes in the first seven games is that we play Bedford instead of Billerica,” he said. “Each opponent that we play is going to be a tough game. Everyone else in the league is always tough, Stoneham, Watertown, Wakefield, Wilmington. Tough teams play hard: it’s always hard, tough football.”


Mackay said he is continuing to grow the culture with the team and defines that as how they think, speak and behave on and off the field.


“What guides our culture is really what we focus on, being relentless with our efforts and competing on every single play.” He said. “From a football prospective we focus on the fundamentals of the game, keeping it simple.”


Finally, MacKay is looking forward to the team training hard and taking what they learn in practice onto the field every game day this season.


“We are returning a good portion of our team from last year, I anticipate us to be much more competitive in our league,” he said. “As far as our goal it is always to win the league and then to make the playoffs and see what happens from there.”

 

 
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