Tony caught up with Rosebud-Lott’s Rafael Williams after the cougars practice on Thursday, August 8, 2019.
Tony: First year as head coach but you’ve been an assistant here a couple of years. Still when you take over a program, you are going to put your own stamp on it. What’s going to a be new for the Cougars this year?
Coach Williams: Offensively and defensively the kids are learning new systems. We are on kind of a learning curve right now. Learning how to line up at receiver. Balls going to be thrown a little bit more. Defensively changing fronts to odd and even sometimes.
Tony: What’s the one thing you want the community to say about the team at the end of the year?
Coach Williams: Regardless of what the scoreboard is saying, regardless of whether we are winning or losing, we are competing night in and night out. Kids are giving 110% and you wouldn’t know what the score is without looking at the scoreboard. We are going to playing hard up by 20 or down by 20. Going to play hard and give effort every time.
Tony: Tell me who some of your key players are going to be this year.
Coach Williams: In the spring when I found out I was going to be the head coach, I started doing some leadership classes with my upcoming seniors. Adrian Valdez is one of the kids that really bought in. He’s going to be a running back for us. He’s a leader on and off the field. He’s going to do some big thinks for us this year.
Tony: He’s vocal out there in practice.
Coach Williams: Yes sir. He is. He’s vocal. And it’s amazing to see. I do believe when the kids are being more vocal as opposed to the coaches that says a lot about your team and leadership. We can’t be on the field with them during the heat of the battle. We can coach but we can’t react to the play like they can.
Tony: For a lot of these kids this will be the last time they play football in any sort of an organized manor. What do you want them to take away from the experience?
Coach Williams: Our theme for two-a-days is commitment. And out theme for season is ROLO, Raise Out Level. We are going to do themes every week that we are going to talk about. Basically, teaching them to be husbands, fathers, uncles, employees, or maybe a CEO. It’s not just football. This is about character building. It always stuck with me when I was in college and in high school, those things that my coaches talked about outside of football. I was like “whatever. I’m going to go to the NFL.” No, it stops in college. However, those things that they talked to us about, they’ve stuck with me as a man as I was able to work a real job and then get into coaching.
Tony: A real small community, so you get some unique things that happen like the escaped pig that was squealing during practice.
Coach Williams: That’s the first time that’s happened. The Ag barn happens to be new. We just happened to be out at practice today. And that is his pig. We hear it over there and are like “What is going on?” He’s like “My pig is out.” So, he had to sprint out there and take somebody with him to help save his pig. That’s one of the unique things. A lot of our kids don’t just play football. They are in Ag. They are in band. They play basketball, track, tennis. They just do a lot of different things and I commend them for doing that. We don’t have, like a big 6A schools, so many kids to pull from. These kids are the future of the Rosebud and Lott communities.