JAMESTOWN — The Greeneview Rams high school football team has bought into second-year coach Ryan Haines’ coaching system. This system has helped guide the team to another successful season with the team going 9-1 and set to face the Madeira Mustangs (7-3), at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3 in their first postseason game of the year.
“If my team doesn’t buy in to what I am telling them, I wouldn’t be a good coach and we wouldn’t be a good football team,” Haines said. “Give credit to them. Every one of them have bought into the message.”
The team went undefeated last year, but lost in the first round of the playoffs. This year, the team has kept working in the same system with the goal of getting further.
“We had a good program last year so we stuck with the system we had,” quarterback Nick Clevenger said. “When you stick with a good program, it’s going to work smoothly for you.”
Haines said the team heard the praise for their regular season performance, but if they want to achieve more than what they have already done then more work must be put in.
“It comes down to the kids,” Haines said “We talked about all our goals. But if their goal is to make it further than before, then they have to put in more work to get to that level. The kids have really bought into that.”
Multiple players said the team had the culture of focusing on one play at a time. That attitude has helped the team stay focused.
“We have a saying,” Clevenger said. “‘Play the next play,’ which means to try not to look too far ahead, just focus on the next play ahead of you.”
Haines echoed this statement. He said the team is always trying to improve, so that they can stay a step ahead of the competition.
“I ask the guys every week ‘Are we good yet?’ and they all know the answer: ‘no coach.’” Haines said. “If we aren’t growing and getting better, then we are going to start dying.”
The team will carry that mindset into their game against Madeira, Saturday night in Cincinnati.
“Madeira is a great football team, but they all are good in the playoffs,” Haines said. “We have to be focused on getting better at us, because there is a strong opponent waiting for us.”
If the team can go on a deep postseason run, it would be significant for the program and would show just how deeply the team has bought into Haines’ message.
“We want to be remembered,” running back Clay Payton said. “It’d be cool to be talked about here when we’re older.”
Joshua Woolverton is a student intern for Greene County News from Cedarville University.