Behind The Whistle

An Interview with Coach Tidwell


Casidy Stoltz

We know the key to a good team is a good coach.

Casidy Stoltz and assisted by Tevin Terry

With the season starting, students and staff are curious as to how our football team plans to make Menchville proud this year. Who would know better than the man in charge, Coach Tidwell. This being his second year as head coach, he shares with us the inside scoop on the teams strategies and changes for success.

We began with asking the basics: what are the teams strengths and weaknesses this year? “The experience is the main strength, “he said.” However with last year’s seniors gone, some of the positions are now lacking depth.” Coach sees no set backs this year though, he restores confidence quickly, by following up with “the right mindset can achieve anything.”

As you know, Menchville started the season with a win. We can all agree that this certainly gave hope to the whole school. However, Tidwell warns that we need to “avoid getting cocky.” One win doesn’t define the season just like one loss won’t. However, Menchville’s recent history does have more than few loses included.

With many teams having better records than ours, Tidwell still confides “our biggest competition is ourselves.” He elaborates on this, “Who we are playing isn’t important because it’s our own mistakes that can cause us to win or lose.” The team plans to focus on both individual and team strategies, and, with many players being repeat players here at Menchville, Coach has confidence in them to know what to do and how to act both on and off the field. Simplicity is the theme on the football field, or as coach says “K.I.S.S- keep it simple stupid.” With not much thinking involved, players should focus on second nature strategies, such as “time management, improving position specific skills, and overall proficiency.”

It’s hard to give each individual player personal time to improve, so splitting into skill specific groups, like offense and defense, usually helps. Our defense is typically better, however coach says, “offense has greatly improved, making the skill levels almost equal.” By improving both offense and defense, the players and staff hope to set a better precedent than displayed in previous years.

Although winning is the plan, Tidwell also knows how to console the team after a hard loss. Although each game has different action causing a win or loss, Coach likes to put an emphasis on “strategy and mentality.” It’s important for both the defense and offense to learn from the mistakes the team made as a whole. Yes, winning is important, but the other aspects of the players’ lives hold just as much importance. Safety and academics play a huge role in aiding in the players’ success. “Regular equipment checks, hydration, and advice from Coach Hollar keeps our players healthy,” says Tidwell. The success of the players’ academics is “achieved by the drive of the players with the aid of the teachers.” To ensure the success even further, there is a study hall available to players to get help or work outside of classes.

For new players, “patience is key”, confides Tidwell. “It takes time” he says, “to learn your role and where you can benefit the team.”
Coach is proud to be in charge of the football team, however he wants to make sure that all teams receive recognition. “Football can set the tone for fall sports, but we all work to support and promote each other.”

Before coming to Menchville, Tidwell admits that he knew our academics were excellent, but we didn’t exactly have a renown football program. “My biggest goal was to change the team’s mentality to that of winners.” Having a losing mentality can lead to slacking and not caring, which Tidwell was not okay with. Striving to win is the key to winning itself. It’s this mentality that drives Tidwell to believe he can better our football program as a whole.

Since moving to Menchville, Coach thanks his fellow teachers who aid in teaching students with learning diabilities. Also, Coach Henderson for aiding him in building the football team we have today.