The Turnaround – Defense & Kicking

by Jason Strunk
Lubbock High School Head Football Coach
Follow @WestTXCoach

spring football practice

Strunky says the Westerners’ defense is working hard this spring.

Spring practice is rolling along. Another good day yesterday.

I have to say I am really impressed with the work DC Nate Jephcott and the defensive staff have put in. This new look has been an easy transition. These guys are taking the time necessary to teach it. They are putting our defense in great position to be successful.

Coaches David Moody, Devin Kline, Tyler Trout and Nate Gensler have this new look defense firing on all-cylinders right now. Lots of fun to watch. Running around and sticking people. That’s my kind of defense. Just fly to the football and make it happen. When you are aggressive and want to make contact, you are going to play some solid defense.

A new wrinkle that Jephcott has added to the defense is the Seattle Seahawks’ tackling drills and circuits. It is fun to watch. The Seahawks have a pretty unique tackling system and it makes sense. We can transfer that to the high school level. It’s a good move for us.

The bottom line is the defense is flying around and tackling much better. That was a major emphasis for this spring. So far, mission accomplished.

THE KICKING LIFE
Our kickers: they are something else.

Lubbock football practice

Strunky likes his kicking team that he says they all know how to relax at practice.

One thing we have stressed since our arrival has been the kicking game. Entering year five, we always feel confident that our kicking game is just as good or better than that of our opponents. We have a had a good run of kickers. This year will be no different.

Logan Huber takes over for his brother Ryan, who was All-District, at the place kicker position. What a luxury to have. Logan can bang them through from fifty right now. He is only going to get better, too.

A new guy, who we only refer to as Jackson, is hitting from 35 yards out. He has only been kicking one week. I like where we are in this department.

So, these guys are good, but their stretching routines, sense of humor and down time is something else. What a collection of personalities. They work hard but when they have a minute, boy do they relax. I’m good with it. I encourage being yourself. Our guys work hard and get the job done. They have fun in the process too.
Nothing wrong with that!

RANDOM SHOUTOUT
This guy just text me and I love it. Max Kattwinkel, the HC at Lubbock Cooper, is one of the best in the business. We share a tight relationship. We can pretty much call or text each other whenever we need to and get a good laugh or talk some shop.

The bottom line is, Kat is one of the most genuine people in the business. We tell it how it is. It’s refreshing.

My advice is to find a good friend in the business like I have in Kat. Great support system, commraderie and a bond that only football coaches may understand.

RANDOMNESS
-I’m not sure what quiet is. Somehow this has escaped my vocabulary. Constant chaos, everywhere. It gets old.
-Pops turned 66. He just had open heart surgery. But he is as sharp as ever and as witty as it gets. He is a

Pops Strunk

Jason Strunk’s dad, known as Pops, has bounced back nicely from open heart surgery.

piece of work. Tough guy, too. He uses 3lb dumbbells now. It’s part of his rehab. At this rate, he should be back to picking his nose soon.
George Watson, formerly of the AJ, is a good guy and good friend. Had a humorous text exchange with him this week. Hey, George! “COUGAR”!!!!
-The NBA is lame.
Cory Kluber struck out 18 today. He obviously didn’t face me. I would have taken him deep. FIO, Kluber.
-Tyler Trout listens to the Spice Girls.
Jennifer Roland wears leg warmers to the mall on Sunday’s.
-Neal Tull graduated from Purdue. He wanted to be an astronaut but he was too heavy to do training on the zip line. Now, I’m  stuck with him.
-Lastly, and certainly not least, a shout out to my good friend Mike McDaniel. Just had one heck of run in Florida where his Olympia High School baseball team ascended to the number ranking in the U.S. Tough loss to end the season but Coach Mac is good! Need him here in Texas!!

That’s it. FIO.

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Jeff is an award-winning journalist and expert in the field of high school sports, underscored with his appearance on CNBC in 2010 to talk about the big business of high school football in America. Jeff turned to his passion for high school football into an entrepreneurial venture called High School Football America, a digital media company focused on producing original high school sports content for radio, television and the internet. Jeff is co-founder and editor-in-chief of High School Football America, which is a media partner with USA TODAY High School Sports.

About the Author

Jeff Fisher
Jeff is an award-winning journalist and expert in the field of high school sports, underscored with his appearance on CNBC in 2010 to talk about the big business of high school football in America. Jeff turned to his passion for high school football into an entrepreneurial venture called High School Football America, a digital media company focused on producing original high school sports content for radio, television and the internet. Jeff is co-founder and editor-in-chief of High School Football America, which is a media partner with USA TODAY High School Sports.