Tuesday, July 12, 2011

SPORTS >> NP getting football up and rolling

Leader sports editor

Falcon football has been in adjustment mode throughout the summer. The team has been slowly adjusting to new North Pulaski coach Teodis Ingram, who has spent much of the summer trying to get his family and belongings moved up from the Crossett area, where he spent the last several years as head football coach and athletic director. He finally completed that task and will officially begin leading workouts with the team next week.

“I finally got moved up here, so I’m here full time now,” Ingram said.

He has meetings planned with parents and players of Northwood and NPHS.

He has held one meeting with parents of Northwood student athletes, with the goal of understanding their concerns, and making them aware of his direction and goals.

“I think the meetings were positive,” Ingram said. “The timing wasn’t good. A lot of parents were on vacation and unable to make it, so we’re going to have another one with them, and we’re going to have one with the high-school parents too.”

Ingram didn’t, and doesn’t, want the meetings to be a one-way conversation, but he does want to make clear his objectives.

“I want to know about their concerns and observations about the program as a whole,” Ingram said. “The ones I did meet with, I was very impressed with their demeanor and the interest they seemed to take in the program. I also want them to get to know some things about me.”

For example, Ingram says he will be a very hands-on head coach.

“I’m going to be involved with the kids and I’m probably going to be in houses talking to parents and family,” Ingram said. “I want them to know I run a very disciplined program. For example if their kids want to play for me, they’re going to have to get in the books. I don’t have a lot of rules or a lot of guidelines. I basically have one. Don’t mess up.”

Ingram also wants to build community-wide support for the NPHS athletic program, something he sees has been lacking in the past, and something he feels its critical to the success of any program.

“If we’re going to build a program, it’s going to take a whole community buying into what we’re trying to do,” Ingram said. “I would like to build relationships that will help develop that kind of commitment from the community, and I want them to know that my commitment to them is second to none.”

Ingram will have practices twice per week for the rest of the summer until official preseason practices begin, but the team has been meeting at the field house for workouts throughout the summer.

“The coaches who are here have been keeping that weight room open and we’ve had good participation,” Ingram said. “We’ve had a good turnout. We haven’t done any conditioning yet, so we’ve got a lot of work to do and very little time to do it.”

Ingram says the team may be surprised when conditioning begins, but believes he’s seen some things from the players so far that tells him they will get through it.

“We’re going to do some things in practice that’s going to test their will,” Ingram said. “If we can get through those things, I think we’re going to be ok, and we’re going to have a group of young men who will be ready to work hard and build this program.”