Coyotes Hope a Culture Change Will Lead to More Wins
After finishing his first season at Clarksburg last fall, varsity football head coach Bob Plante looks to continue the progress the program has made over the past year heading into this fall.
The Coyotes went 3-7 in Plante’s inaugural season at Clarksburg in 2017, earning wins over Kennedy, Gaithersburg and Wheaton.
“Building a program takes time,” he said. “Changing a culture takes time.”
Plante has been committed to developing a sense of toughness, accountability and discipline in the program since arriving at Clarksburg last summer. The new approach might not suit everyone, but Plante believes it will weed out those who wouldn’t fit the program well while leaving him with the best of the best.
“Our numbers are down this year because we’ve set a culture and a goal that everybody must meet in order to play for us, and we simply won’t lower our standards,” he said. “But those 30 to 33 kids are the 30 to 33 kids we want, and we’re going to build it from there. Those are the guys that are going to lay down the foundation of this program.”
Senior quarterback Joey Perkins is among those 30 to 33 on Clarksburg’s roster. After Perkins’ promising 2017 season as a junior, Plante believes Perkins will have an even better 2018 under center.
Other key returning student-athletes for 2018 include seniors Ben Spiess, Jevon Coche, Mike Roenick and Toron Williams, as well as juniors Xavier Holmes and Casey McKinney.
The Coyotes will open their season at home against Kennedy on Friday, Aug. 31. Kennedy is coming off a 1-9 season last year. Clarksburg opened at Kennedy last year with a 34-12 victory over the Cavilers.
The Coyotes’ upcoming fall schedule is among the hardest for 4A schools, as they will face last year’s 2A state champion and UpCounty rival Damascus, 4A finalist and former state champion Quince Orchard, 4A North regional finalist Paint Branch, and 4A West regional semifinalist Einstein in the coming months.
“Our goal is to compete every week,” Plante said. “We certainly want to build on the three wins we had last year, so if we can build on top of that that’s what we’ll do.
“Our opponent is irrelevant to us,” he added. “This team, this program, is about us and us getting better every week.”
Coach Plante knows transforming Clarksburg into a playoff contender won’t happen overnight. His measuring stick for the team isn’t what’s on the scoreboard; rather, it’s the level of competitiveness and effort that his student-athletes bring every day.