The Mexico varsity football team has a very definite mind set that it doesn't want to compete by always specifically game planning for other teams.
Rather, Head Coach Steve Haag and staff want to impose their will to the point that they force the opposition to game plan for them. The idea is to create an all-encompassing force on both sides of the ball that steadily breaks the will of other squads to the level that come the fourth quarter lesser teams are obviously not even giving the same effort and even quality clubs are playing against the backups by then. Those are high-minded ideals to have, both those are also the tenants Mexico football are built on.
Nothing worth having comes easy and every assistant coach is onboard with that mantra without question. It's a shared mindset they have that comes naturally and without much conversation. These coaches are a bit of a closed group who work well together and know exactly what they want. That's why, when Travis Blevins had to step away several season ago because his work duties became too great, he was never replaced. Haag would rather go with who he has than open things up to a stranger.
It's hard enough having to replace recent graduates like Jasean White on a regular basis, and while the running back/corner back will most certainly be missed, one way the Bulldogs have tried to move forward is with a summer filled with hard work and continuity. This includes scrimmages past and future, all of which are designed to help guys like returning quarterback Ty Prince get in the groove for everything that's to come in 2019.
"We have had a good summer so far. We will have a scrimmage in Quincy on July 25th," said Haag. "The boys have been working hard and we are excited to see how it comes together when we go to Quincy and play against other teams."
One thing Haag has going for him is the athletic tradition former Mexico Activities Director Jeff Anderson worked hard to foster and current A.D Blevins is sure to take to the next level. Because of this players like Prince also compete for other Bulldogs varsity programs such as baseball, meaning their summer isn't tied down to the limited number of practices one team is allowed to have. This should help get those individuals in that much better shape come time for football season to begin.
"We have quite a few athletes who (train for) other sports in the summer. As coaches we work together so that the athletes do not have to choose in the summer," Haag said. "We are very aware that they need to be kids and that each sport needs to have some time to prepare in the summer."
Another tenant of Mexico Football is that Haag chooses to spend this time of year with the varsity and JV working as a single, cohesive unit. Then, once the summer is complete athletes can compete for a spot on the depth chart.
"We always work our JV/V together. We really don't know who is going to be where until the season starts," said Haag. "Hopefully some of the younger players will push the older players for positions."
On a personal note Coach Haag has undergone some personal changes that include some rather impressive weight loss. As for how that will help him in other areas of life, he seems to believe that it will assist him in becoming more of a leader by example.
"Hopefully it helps me have more energy to do the job," Haag said. "I know that I feel better and maybe it might rub off on some others who want to achieve goals in their lives."