by Mallory Kennedy
October 2, 2009 – The 2009 Zachary Broncos are welcoming in new Head Football Coach, Neil Weiner this Season. Coach Weiner started his coaching career in 1997 as a Freshman Football Coach at Catholic High School. He then went on to Redemptorist High School where he began teaching and coaching in 2000 for the Wolves. With this being Coach Weiner’s first year at Zachary, the Broncos will be starting new traditions and will have new expectations for their players.“Our kids are working extremely hard. We ask a lot of them. Their time and energy are precious and they have sacrificed a lot to be a part of something special,” says Weiner. The goal for Weiner’s Broncos this year is to simply “win a district championship, make the state play-offs, and win the Louisiana Class 5A State Championship.”
The Broncos started their preparation in order to meet this goal during the off season with programs such as strength and conditioning sessions that were held on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. Weiner’s players also engaged in 7 on 7 scrimmages on Wednesday mornings during the summer.
Though the Zachary Football Program did not return many starters, Coach Weiner believes his kids will play hard every game and every play. With a Defense that battles with good speed, and an Offensive Line that plays physical, Weiner says “we can’t rely on experience as a strength, but we are enthusiastic.”
Defensively for the Broncos, Coach Weiner will be looking to his Strong Safety, Corey Johnson. Johnson will be playing a key role for Zachary in order to make necessary calls and checks before the ball is snapped. Offensively, Weiner will be relying on Wide Receiver and Quarterback, Tony Clark. Weiner describes Clark as a dynamic player, but realizes, “He can’t do anything unless our Offensive Line gives us time to get plays off.”
Leadership has been a key component for the Broncos this year. Defensive Back, Jeremy Drake, is one of several seniors that have emerged as a vocal leader for the team. “He has a good head on his shoulders, and on occasion has called player-only meetings to address team issues,” says Weiner.
Zachary is looking forward to playing some top notch schools. “We don’t play a weak team on our schedule, but St. Thomas Moore, ASH, Central and Catholic would be the “quote/unquote” marquee match ups,” expresses Weiner.
Anyone can easily see Coach Weiner’s passion for the game. He says what he enjoys most about coaching football is spending “Friday nights under the lights, practicing on Thanksgiving, game-planning for opponents and having former players come back, and talk about all the great times they had playing.” While looking up to his father, Dale Weiner, in his own coaching career, Coach Weiner has found that “after every win, it was usually because of the players, and after every loss, it was usually because of the coaching.”
Coach Weiner feels the best advice that he can give a young player is to tell them of his sophomore season playing at Wide Receiver. He says “I figured out, whether I caught the ball or dropped the ball; I was going to get hit . . . so I might as well hold on to the ball. The hits really weren’t all that bad.”