by Mark Clements
August 6, 2010 – Every season, graduating seniors leave high school coaching searching for players to fill in the holes. Central Catholic High School head coach David Fuhrer says that although a few key players are returning, the teams experience level is extremely vulnerable.
“We have some experience returning, but as far as the skill positions go we’re making some changes,” Fuhrer said. “One of our wide receivers [Lloyd Grogan] is moving to quarterback. He’s very athletic and a big strong young man and I think he’ll help us out a lot at quarterback. We also have Dontrell Brown returning, our all-state wide receiver, and he’s big and physical.”
Fuhrer says the biggest youth issue comes with the big boys up front.
“But leading the offensive line we have some youngsters,” he said. “The big thing is depth. We can become very young very quickly if we get a couple of the older guys hurt so the offensive line is key for us. I feel like we’re coming along and I think the guys are coming together, and I’m looking forward to some success with the offense.”
Fuhrer said the biggest thing his Eagles need to focus on is consistency … on both sides of the ball.
“We need to work on consistency on offense, and being able to get off the field on defense and not letting people sustain drives,” Fuhrer said “We gave up some long drives last year and it seemed like a snowball effect. People would drive the ball on our defense and we wouldn’t come off the field. Then our offense would get out there and be three and out and our defense would be back on the field, so we need to be more consistent on both sides of the ball.”
The 18-year coach also said he sees a successful season this year, and commented on a strong summer start already.
“Offensively I think the scheme we’re putting in will allow us to move the chains and keep the defense off the field,” Fuhrer said. “Defensively, hopefully, we can get the ball back to the offense and be able to control the clock and win some ball games. I think so far we’ve had a great summer and a great camp with the kids and they’ve done some good stuff. We’re excited about the season.”
Along with a great beginning to the season, Fuhrer said he has an excellent staff lined up and ready.
“I think we have a very good staff,” he said. “Our guys each have one position to coach so I think it takes a little bit of a burden off the guys and they’re able to give their own players more attention. I think they do a tremendous job, and I’m definitely very pleased.”
While being head coach encompasses several different duties, Fuhrer is also in charge of coaching the wide receivers, a job which he says he thoroughly enjoys doing.
“I’ve coached wide receivers for most of the years I’ve been at Central Catholic.” Fuhrer said. “One day in my coaching career we needed someone to go coach wide receivers and I went over and I absolutely love doing it. You can see those guys getting better from when they come as freshmen and we get to see them grow. It’s very rewarding to coach those guys.”
Fuhrer said his love for coaching carries over year after year. He also said that the start of a new season happens to be his favorite aspect of the coaching profession.
“My favorite part, truly, is the beginning of a new year … to start over,” Fuhrer said. “We can put last year behind us, and now it’s a new team. You get incoming freshmen, juniors become seniors, and the team develops a new identity. You get to start over and its refreshing.”
While the thrill of starting a new season goes down as Fuhrer’s favorite part of coaching, his least favorite aspect seems fairly obvious.
“My least favorite part is when the season ends,” Fuhrer said. “Unfortunately for us its usually a loss in the playoffs and we don’t get to advance. It leaves a bad taste in your mouth for a while.”
Along with losing games, Fuhrer said he dislikes losing his players as well.
“Another part is losing the seniors,” he said. “I get to see these kids come in from eighth grade and watch them grow and then leave. That’s the hard part.”
While Coach Fuhrer has had the opportunity to coach numerous great players, he says some of his most memorable were guys who have gone on to become assistant coaches under him.
Along with coaching some of his future assistants, Fuhrer said one of his favorite athletes came with a two-sport sprinter (Which Fuhrer also coaches).
“One of my most notable guys who I was very close with was Jerald Watson,” he said “He was a sprinter in track and signed with Auburn. I flew him all over the country for track and we got very close. But there’s probably a ton of other guys that it could also be.”
Big games happen every so often throughout a coaches career, and Fuhrer said one his best coaching moments was a bright spot in a rather dismal season.
“One more recent one that sticks out in my mind was two years ago,” Fuhrer said. “We went 2-7 that year and we were very young. We had two seniors that started and a bunch of freshmen and sophomores playing. We played a game against Vermillion Catholic and we probably should not have won that game but we did. Our guys fought hard and never gave up and came together as a team that night. That one was pretty memorable.”