East St. John High School, Alden Foster
East St. John announced Alden Foster as their new Head Football Coach in January. The former Amite High School Head Coach is coming off a season where he and the warriors made it all the way to the state championship game. Coach Foster has a reputation for bringing programs into prominence. He started out at St. Helena where he built them from the ground up. It was similar when he started at Amite. Two State Championship appearances and six post-season appearances later, Amite has now become one of the more respected programs in 3A Louisiana Football. I got to sit down with Coach Foster last week and talk to him about his new position:
LAFM: What attracted you to East St. John?
“Well, you know this is one of the best and toughest districts in the state. Anytime you are competing against the Destrehan and Hahnville’s of the world, you are competing at a high level. As a coach, you want to compete at the highest level possible.
Also, East St. John is a quality program itself. They made it to the 2nd round of the playoffs last year. The school is going to have athletes year in and year out. I have seen these kids play and now have met them. There are some great kids here. I am looking forward to working with them and being a positive influence on their lives.”
LAFM: How do you feel about competing in such a tough district?
When I coached at St. Helena, we had Amite, Kentwood, and Independence. Those schools were small school powers especially then in the late 1990’s. My goal was to build that program into a success, a consistent success, like those guys. We were blessed to beat all those guys before I had left.
Our goal is to build this program into a power which is known across the entire state. Not just a power with talent, we want to be a well disciplined team as well. If we can get to a level where we compete with a Thibodaux, Hahnville, and Destrehan year in and year out, then we can compete with anybody.
LAFM: If you had to sum up your coaching style in a couple words, how would you describe it?
We are going to play physical. We are going to play hard. We are going to be disciplined, but we are also going to have fun. Our kids are going to enjoy themselves Friday nights. The work they put in now will payoff come game time. My philosophy is hurt now or hurt later. We need to put the work in now, so we do not hurt after the game.
LAFM: I know you have only been here a short while, but what do you see in the kids and the team so far?
I see some really good kids. Not just in talent, but also in character. The entire team has been very receptive. They have done everything we have asked them to do. I am really excited for these guys going forward.
LAFM: How about the staff the school hired?
We brought in a great staff as well. Guys such as Former Southern Lab HC Nick Mitchell (who went to the Dome this past year), Tut Musemeche (former HC of Live Oak) who has maximized talent where ever he has been, Craig Jones from Bogalusa, John Lambert who has been here, Dwain Davis who was outstanding for me last year (7 points in 5 district games last year at Amite), David Townsend who was my D-line coach at Amite, and Shane Williams. We honestly were able to put together one of the best staffs in the state. We just have to maximize the kids we have and continue to get them to buy into what we are doing. If we do that, we can have a lot of success.
LAFM: Lastly, talk about what you learned and took away from your time at Amite?
Well, I am from Amite. I was born and raised there. It is always a mans dream to go back home and coach. I was able to coach nephews, kids of my friends, and work with people I really enjoy. The toughest part about leaving for me was the kids. Those kids have been through a lot. Our team was able to persevere all the way to the State Championship. Now, they have a great group coming back. In our time there we called ourselves bridge builders. We have opened the doors for other people back at Amite to reach there dreams. My dream was always to coach at home, and I got to live that dream. At the same time, sometimes when you go back home the good Lord has another plan for your life. I was blessed to have this opportunity to come to East St. John. I can further my coaching career here. I am absolutely thankful for my experience at Amite. To be honest, it prepared me for this next journey I am about to face.