After Further Review: Cole Young 9/16

Cole Young

By Cole Young PrepsKC Senior Writer
Posted: September 16, 2014 - 1:34 PM

One of the best parts of each football season is watching different teams begin to ascend.

After wallowing with two and three wins seasons for multiple years, it’s always good to see a team turn the corner and start to become a winning program, where .500 seasons are considered letdowns instead of successful seasons.

Winnetonka is a great example of this.

Since 2008, the Griffins have had just one losing season while racking up five seasons of seven or more wins.

To me it’s a mentality that starts at the top and works its way down.

The process of becoming a winning program certainly isn’t easy. With the change in mentality there’s sure to be frustration from coaches, parents and players.

A few weeks ago, parent relayed to me a story about their coach’s arrival a few years ago.

“They hated him when he first got here,” the parent said. “Finally, though, some of the players stepped up and told the rest of the team he isn’t going anywhere so they may as well just buy in.”

While some schools have never experienced success, other teams look like they could be slowly making their way back.

Two programs that early on seem like they could be getting back to past success are Grain Valley and Oak Park.

Less than a decade ago, Grain Valley had an offense feared by nearly every mid-size school in the area. Now, after a few rough years they are at 2-2 with their most recent victory by 28 points.

Oak Park meanwhile seems to be climbing back from an even deeper hole. The Northmen won just six games in four seasons but are 2-2 this season and can take a big step toward progress this week with a victory over Belton.

While one winning season is certainly the initial goal, what turns a good team into a good program is the buy-in not just from the varsity-level athletes, but junior varsity, freshmen and junior high teams.

It’s what helps teams get to the point they can use that terrible cliché, “we don’t rebuild, we reload.”

That buy-in is what makes teams like Fort Osage and Blue Springs and Kearney the types of programs the others aspire too.