By Dan Guttenplan, FNF Coaches Managing Editor
East Carteret coach Caleb King inherited a team last fall that had not won its rivalry game against West Carteret in almost 10 years. He made three big changes to help his team snap the winless drought.
- Create an Infatuation for the Winning Trophy
- Build From the Bottom with Young Players
- Establish a Commitment to the Weight Room
Not only did King’s East Carteret Mariners win their rivalry game against West Carteret, they went 11-3 overall and a perfect 5-0 in the Coastal Plains 1-A Conference.
CREATING AN INFATUATION FOR THE WINNING TROPHY
The winning prize for winning the East Carteret vs. West Carteret rivalry game is the “Mullet Bucket.”
King explains: “The Mullet Bucket is an actual bucket that trades hands whenever the game is played. And yes, you do put mullets in it.”
If you’re picturing a pail full of hockey hair, then you’re probably not from a coastal area like Carteret County.
Mullet is a kind of fish, and though the winners once presumably ate a meal of mullet served straight from a bucket, the victorious squad now gets a free dinner at a local restaurant.
“The neat thing was the captains got to spray-paint the mullet bucket after the game, take that ugly red off of it, put our school colors on it,” King said.
BUILD FROM THE BOTTOM WITH YOUNG PLAYERS
Next year’s team shapes up to be a 1-A monster. East Carteret has 23 letter-winners returning, including 10 starters on defense and eight on offense. Although King will be breaking in a new quarterback, his spread offense returns three 1,000-yard receivers, headlined by Da’Shaun Johnson, who gained over 1,500.
ESTABLISH A COMMITMENT TO THE WEIGHT ROOM
King said that getting his players committed to the weight room was the most important step in rebuilding the program. Having a lead-by-example star like Johnson is crucial.
“It’s everything,” King said. “When your best player is your hardest worker, it makes it easy.”
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Dan Guttenplan is FNF Coaches senior managing editor. Do you have a thought about this article you would like to share? Send him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, tweet us @fnfcoaches or share it on the Coaches Chat Board.