By Harold Harmon Sports Writer
July 24, 2014
You don’t have to know the seasons to tell when it’s time for football.
You remember football, of course. That’s when you wear your very warmest clothes, take extras just in case, a thermos loaded with hot tea, stuff like that. Just follow the guys with the blankets and blondes.
Football is also the sport that practices in 100-degree weather to prepare for what should be a cold-weather sport.
Figure that out and you will be sent straightaway to the big town to serve in Congress.
We’re closing in on football season and that means a look at the new-look Savage Storm of head coach Bo Atterberry, a former Savage and a successful head coach in the always-tough Lone Star Conference. He guided his Texas A&M-Kingsville Javelinas to an LSC championship and that’s no easy task for any coach, much less a first-head-coaching-job guy.
Atterberry said, “I am very fortunate to be the head coach at Southeastern, my alma mater, and look forward to the journey. I am blessed to work for a great administration and with a great group of coaches. Any success I have been able to accomplish has been because of the people I was fortunate to work with and most importantly the players.”
The 2014 edition of Southeastern football will report on August 9. That sounds like a long way off, but the calendar will put the lie to that kind of thinking.
How about 16 days?
“We report on August 9,” Atterberry said. “We have 111 lockers and expect them to be full.”
Things have changed since Atterberry’s playing days in the Blue and Gold. The football field now has synthetic turf, the dressing room is actually big enough to turn around in and there are more seats in the bleachers.
Now we need more buns in the seats.
Atterberry said it’s hard to argue with Henderson State as the pre-season favorite with what the Reddies have accomplished lately.
Henderson State was 11-1 overall and a nifty 10-0 in Great American Conference play. The Reddies are ranked No. 5 in Lindy’s pre-season Top 25 Poll.
HSU has a stud quarterback returning and the 2014 schedule has welcomed Atterberry back home by giving him two full games to get his offense and defense and special teams put together before traveling to Arkadelphia, Arkansas, and a date with the Reddies on September 18.
No pressure, brother Bo.
Along with little time to prepare for the game, plus the fact that it’s against the two-time defending GAC champion on its home field, there’s one more interesting fact about this game.
It will be Southeastern’s first time to have a game on national TV. Yep, national TV. NCAA Division II and CBS Sports Network will carry the game live and it will be a Thursday-night shootout.
Yep, Thursday night. That gives the Storm five days to prepare for HSU after hosting the University of Arkansas-Monticello on September 13.
Atterberry said, “I think our staff has done a nice job of creating more competition at some positions through the off-season recruiting, but there is still work to be done. Our objective is to be highly competitive for playing time so we get everyone’s best effort consistently.
“We are instilling the importance of enjoying the journey and the process. As a team, we need to make sure each day is important and work with a purpose to put ourselves in position to be successful. No telling how the ball may bounce for one team or another, but we need to go to bed at night knowing we did everything that day as a staff and team to get better.”
The Storm will base from a 3-4 defense, but be very flexible based on personnel and also on what offensive scheme is thrown at them.
“I really like what we do offensively with multiple personnel groupings and the ability to do a lot of things. We had some nice numbers last year, but we must take care of the football and score touchdowns when we get into the red zone.”
That pretty well takes care of the on-field stuff and the off-field stuff is also well-planned.
Atterberry said, “Our philosophy from a department standpoint is that we want the student-athletes to Graduate, Do Right and Compete.
“We want to create an environment that allows each individual to reach his fullest potential in the classroom, in our community and also on the field.”
Remember, just 16 days until the 2014 Storm footballers report.
Get your season tickets early.
Harold Harmon can be reached at HHarmon@se.edu.