McClain football begins new era under new leadership

By Jim Jones - For The Times-Gazette

The 2015 McClain Tigers football team

The 2015 McClain Tigers football team

Jeremy Andrews takes over the reigns of the McClain football program and he hopes that a trend of success that he has had at his previous schools will continue in Greenfield.

Andrews played football and graduated from Gahanna Lincoln H. S. in Columbus before attending college at Ohio State University. He began his coaching career during his junior year of college as an assistant at Columbus South H.S. where he continued to coach for three seasons.

From there he and his wife moved to Lake Butler, Florida where he was an assistant at Union County H.S. for two years. While at that school he helped lead the team to a state championship game and had the pleasure of coaching two future NFL players.

After two seasons there Andrews and his wife decided to head back north and located in Nashville, Tennessee at Sycamore H.S. He would be an assistant there for the next three seasons and have continued success after reaching the third round of the state playoffs in Tennessee.

Finally Andrews would make it back to Ohio where he would coach as an assistant at Wilmington H.S. While at Wilmington he was able to again be a part of a solid rebuilding program which culminated into making it to the Ohio H.S. state football playoffs. So, with fifteen years experience of coaching H.S. football and success everywhere that he has been the future seems to be bright at McClain.

“Everywhere I’ve coached I’ve been fortunate to be a part of successful football programs,” said Andrews “I’m hoping to take what I’ve learned at those experiences and bring them here to McClain and turn around this program.”

“All three of those previous schools that I coached at had losing seasons but had solid rebuilding processes and were able to make the playoffs the following year.”

McClain will have ten seniors lead a very young squad into the new season with eighteen of the forty-seven total being freshman. So a major concern for the first-year head coach and his staff will be the team’s over-all lack of experience and depth.

“We are not very deep and we have a lot of guys playing both offense and defense right now so we really need some kids to step up and become varsity level players,” Andrew said “With eighteen freshman and a solid program in place at the junior high level I think the numbers are going to come we just have to be patient.”

“I keep telling our older guys on the team that we are going to win here eventually and it’s up to them if they want to be a part of that.”

Andrews considers his team’s main strength’s to be good work ethics and the group’s over-all character.

“We have awesome kids here and they’ve been working their tails off but we’ve had to teach them everything. They’ve had to learn how to practice, learn how to listen, and most of all learn how to be coached.”

“We’ve been working real hard on all of those little things because that’s what we have to do to get better. The great thing about our kids is they are very receptive and have been doing the best they can, and most of them are trying very hard to be coachable by doing everything we ask of them.”

Offensively the new coach wants to be versatile on offensive mixing the run and pass but the opponent and his team’s level of talent will dictate what they do in each contest. Defensively, not much is going to change as long-time defensive coordinator John Penwell will still be in charge of that aspect of the game and Coach Andrews likes his aggressive style of play.

“Our tackling has been dismal in our first couple of scrimmage so that has to get better but Coach Penwell has everyone in the right spots we’re just not making the tackles and that’s very frustrating.”

Improvement is the main objective for the new McClain head coach and his staff to begin the new season.

“Just to improve every week,” continued Andrews “There are so many variables in winning and losing high school football games. It’s impossible to say how many wins you want to have or what teams you need to beat and that’s not really how I go about it.”

“I want to see improvement every single day and if we can do that the wins and losses will care of themselves.”

“Everyone might be pleasantly surprised with our season if we continue to work hard and grow every week while hopefully staying healthy.”

Clinton Massie, Wilmington, and Chillicothe are considered to be the league favorites by Coach Andrews along with Miami Trace. He considers the S.C.O.L. as a league on the rise.

“I’ve been really impressed with everyone here at McClain,” said Andrews “The quality of people including the players, coaches, parents, teachers, athletic directors, and school administration has just been awesome.”

“They all will do whatever they can for you and everyone is very respectful and responsible so I’m just having a ball here, now we just need everyone to come out and support us on Friday nights.”

McClain will host Adena on Friday, August 28th for the season and home opener with a 7:30 kickoff.

The 2015 McClain Tigers football team 2015 McClain Tigers football team

By Jim Jones

For The Times-Gazette