Coach Profile: Fort Osage's Ryan Schartz 5/29
By Dion Clisso PrepsKC Managing Editor
Fort Osage has seen it all in the last 20 years. The Indians have been gone from the absolute depths of high school football and been one game away from winning a state title.
Head coach Ryan Schartz has seen both sides as well. He was an assistant the last few years of Jerry Boyce’s successful run as head coach and when he returned to become the head coach in 2005 the Indians were in the throes of a 19-game losing streak and were back in the depths again.
Schartz won his first game and lost the last nine of that season, but something was changing at Fort Osage. The next year they went 8-2 and they haven’t had losing season since. Schartz was able to take what he learned from Boyce and another head coach he worked with Park Hill South’s Ron Litchfield and go into situation where he thought he could turn things around.
“I knew there was some talent walking the halls from when I was over here with coach Boyce,” Schartz said. “I just felt like this was a program that could get turned around and we were able to accomplish that.”
Schartz quickly turned around the Indians and a good group of talented players had Fort Osage in the playoffs in his third year. They would seem to come up short making the semifinals in both 2007 and 2008 until a breakthrough season in 2009.
The Indians finished with their first-ever 10-0 regular season and would make it all the way to the Class 5 title game before falling short 31-14 to Webster Groves.
In 2010 the Indians went back to the playoffs after a 7-3 regular season. Fort Osage would bow out of the playoffs with a 22-0 loss to Staley but the young team showed progress. The 2010 squad may not have the talent of the last few, Schartz and his staff have the Indians turned into a winning program that looks like it will be a force in Class 5 for many years to come.
“We’ve got some work to do,” Schartz said. “We’re a constant work in progress. We just try to do things right and do everything sound. We preach technique and put kids in situations and where they have to think. We just continue to do the right thing and it is paying off so far.”
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