Although school has been closed for some time in the Belton Independent School District, there has been plenty of activity on the Lake Belton High School side of BISD Athletics.
This week, I had the opportunity to catch up with Lake Belton High School Head Football Coach/Campus Coordinator Brian Cope to receive the latest Bronco sports news in Bronco.
TA). While BISD has been physically closed for business, the beat carried on for you, Lake Belton High School Principal Jill Ross and Belton AD Sam Skidmore. How challenging has it been to fill out an athletic staff in this time of closure? How important has the LBHS Leadership Team been during this process?
BC). It has been challenging but also very exciting. We have done over 65 Zoom interviews for all of our different jobs that we have available. We have one coach left to hire out of the 26. It is going to be an exciting time to be a Bronco.
TA). OC Dustin Washburn and DC Randy Hooton are starting off as the program’s first coordinators. You have surrounded them with an excellent supporting cast. Have there been many opportunities for the players to get to know the coaches and their philosophies and systems that they employ on both sides of the ball?
BC). Yes, we have been having RISE UP meetings where Coach Washburn and Coach Hooton have been leading. It is great for our kids to understand the type of culture we want to establish. We have taken some time and put that before our scheme. Our kids will know what RISE UP and 212 means to our programs.
TA). This early 2020 has been one like no one has seen. Football practices and onsite workouts have given way to individual accountability, Zoom meetings, and offsite workouts. Technology has played a huge role in teaching over the past couple of months. How has the profession of coaching changed this season without having the athletes in person for spring football training?
BC). We will come out of this stronger. We have been able to still meet with our kids which have been a big plus. Our Belton ISD administration has been awesome during this time.
TA). Texas 7-On-7 has been a very beneficial piece of team’s preparations for football season, albeit no pads or contact. However, the chemistry and communication of the QB-WRs and defensive “back 7” may not be as prevalent this season as in the past 20 seasons where 7-On-7 has grown into a vital role in early summers. Obviously, you guys are in a spectator and advisory role during this time. In your opinion, how important will the season be without the “Monday Night League”, SQTs, and the state tournament?
BC). 7-On-7 is always an important piece of the puzzle. We will miss doing it this year which also means the extra hours the UIL gives us to work on skill development will be that much more important. After ELITE camp each day, we will have skill development time, and that will be a great way to introduce our new schemes where the kids are able to do them instead of just learning through technology.
TA). Looking at the other sports under the Lake Belton umbrella, there have been quality hires. All of the coaches will have an opportunity to implement their cultures and systems. It is important to understand that it is different to start to coach a new sport at an existing school (as Jamie Brown did at Lorena this past year) and start to coach a new sport at a school that is initially opening (Like Belton Head Volleyball Coach Krystal Brodbeck did at San Angelo Grape Creek and former Belton Head Basketball Coach David President did at Manvel Shadow Creek). How important are initial cultures and systems when you are starting an athletics program?
BC). They are extremely important. We have had quality applicants for every job we have interviewed for. We are looking forward to watching every program RISE UP to the challenges of being a new school. We want the kids and the community to know that our goal is to have the best athletic program in the state.
TA). As we know that varsity football is not applicable this year with Lake Belton High School opening, the junior varsity and freshman ranks will have a good deal of attention during the 2020 season. Is here a rough idea of the numbers going into August for the sub-varsity teams? Will there be three freshman teams as in years past or will the program be narrowed down to just the Red and Silver teams?
BC). Right now, we have 135 kids signed up to play Bronco Football. We are going to have three teams next year. Our Bronco team will be a combination of sophomores and freshmen. Our Silver team will be Freshmen only and then our Red team will also be a sophomore and freshman combination. We will build these teams to be the most successful possible The following year, we will have four teams and then have five teams for the 2022 season.
TA). We are a ways from starting the 2020 fall football season. Lake Belton will be a 4A school for at least two more years and will be a sophomore/freshman campus in 2020. All other sports will have varsity teams in 2020-2021. What is the sports outlook for the Broncos for the 2020-2021 season?
BC). It is going to be fun to watch these Bronco teams grow each and every day. Our kids are going to play with 212 effort every time they step foot on the field or court. It is going to be a fun time to watch all of our Broncos RISE UP to success.