Q & A with Oswego Head Coach Brian Cooney
Coach Cooney has his Panthers 5-0 with a chance to go 6-0
What do you see as the biggest challenge on stopping Oswego East Football this Friday?
It’s obvious to point to an extremely talented, Division 1 halfback, but Oswego East presents a number of challenges in all three phases of the game; most 5 – 0 teams do. They have play-makers all over the field.
What does Oswego Football mean to you?
Like many of the coaches on our staff, I grew up in this community, went to Oswego High School and played in the program for four years under Coach Hoinkes. Oswego Football is not just an interest or a job for me; it’s much more than that. I always admired the time, effort and energy my coaches put in while I played here. To be able to do the same for our school and our football program is something I take a great deal of pride in. As a player and a coach, I’ve been a part of this program for 23 years.
You run a hybrid version of the t-formation, what do you like about t-formation?
That particular offensive package has been part of our program for years. When executed correctly, it gives us several blocking advantages on either side of the formation. Putting one or two wide receivers on the field with that package can create some one on one matchups for us as well.
What is key to the success that has helped this program?
Tradition and the energy we pull from that tradition year in and year out assists our program greatly. We expect a tremendous amount of dedication, hard work and sacrifice from our kids; adequate is not allowed. Our program looks for kids who feel they “need” to play football, rather than just “want” to play football.
What do you want your kids to take away from playing football for you and your coaching staff?
We want our kids to use this game to develop the qualities it takes to become and remain a successful, contributing member of society. The dedication, sacrifice, perseverance and teamwork associated with this game are tremendously high. Those same qualities can play major roles in a student-athlete’s future success.
Positive comments on Oswego East Football Players and Coach LEblanc?
Their kids play a fast and physical style of football. When seeing them live or watching their film, it’s easy to see why they are 5 and 0. Coach LeBlanc has taken his program to the next level. That type of success doesn’t happen by chance. A number of “firsts” have happened at East under Tyson. I have a great deal of respect for Coach LeBlanc.
You guys are 5-0... you had lot big playmakers graduate last season, but were able to replace. are you surprised?
No school is immune to their playmakers graduating and moving on. We do not rebuild here; we do our best to reload. Although this team looks different than a year ago, you build on what you have. The entire coaching staff has done a tremendous job putting our kids in positions to be as successful as we can be. You cannot simply replace guys like Steven Frank, Chad Marsh and Austin Warner to name a few, but you can find a way to make it work.
What do people outside of your area need to understand about Oswego/Kendall County Football that people overlook?
As our kids would say, “Don’t sleep on Oswego Football”. I think that can be said for both teams on either side of town. There is good football being played in the Oswego community. Friday will be a great experience for our kids and our community.