Tony caught up with Rice Consolidated’s Jared Sloan during the Raiders practice on Thursday, August 8, 2019.
Tony: Your second year here. Walk back a year and tell me why Rice Consolidated?
Coach Sloan: This is where I had my first ever AD/ HFC interview six years ago when I was the defensive coordinator at George Ranch. I had a really good interview and I finished just outside of the finalists. I saw the job come open last year and it was just a situation that I had to look into. I’m fortunate that my family enjoyed being back on this side of the city of Houston which is where my wife and I were living before we moved to Beaumont when I was at Hardin-Jefferson. Honestly, you walk into a situation where the community is going to support their athletic programs, upgrading their facilities and trying to be top notch in the part of the state of Texas. It’s a win-win situation.
Tony: Jared Sloan AD/ HFC Rice Consolidated. What’s the one thing he wants the community to know about his athletics programs?
Coach Sloan: We are going to do what’s right. Every day we want our kids to know that there’s a right and wrong choice and we are going to do what’s right. We want our kids to be successful ten years from now as husbands, fathers, mothers, wives, employers, employees. As our athletic program grows and moves forward, we have to learn accountability and doing what’s right.
Tony: Let’s talk football a little bit. A good year last year, the best here in a while. What are the keys to success this year?
Coach Sloan: Number one we have to stay healthy. We are not as deep as we were last year. We had a very large senior class of 22. They were all greats kids that got on board and bought into what we were trying to do. We’ve got to be a physical football team. We’ve got to be able to run the football and do a great job in the tackling game to keep people off balance. I spent a lot of my career as a defensive coordinator. I want our defense to be aggressive and fly around. But we are going to young on that side of the ball. Our strength right now is our O-line and the running backs. We’ve got to do our job on offense and let our defense kind of grow up a little bit.
Tony: Key player. Not best player. If everyone is healthy and this player takes the step up, that means that you are where you want to be.
Coach Sloan: Oh, great question. Everybody always talks about the two kids that we have in the backfield, Ian Hargrove and Warren Scott, and they are gamers. I think biggest player for us would be someone stepping up at nose or insider backer. We’ve got some kids battling for that. There’s not one kid that’s emerged right now. So that’s where we are. The middle of our defense – somebody steps up in there and we are going be very good on Friday nights.