SIDNEY — The staff remains the same for Sidney’s football program, but the duties for veteran head coach Adam Doenges and longtime assistant Kyle Coleman have changed a bit.
Coleman has moved from defensive to offensive coordinator, while Doenges has added defensive coordinator duties to his workload.
Doenges said things went smoothly for the squad in offseason preparations in June and July and said the first week of preseason practice was going well. Official practice began for Sidney and all fall sports teams in Ohio on Monday.
The Yellow Jackets hit the ground — and each other — on Monday. That’s different from previous seasons, as the OHSAA used to require an acclimation period before contact (as in tackling) in preseason practice was allowed.
With the start of regular-season games having been moved a week earlier last year after playoff expansion, the OHSAA decided this year to allow squads to acclimate to wearing full pads during offseason training in the last weeks of July.
“That kind of helped a little bit, but it still sort of seems like you’re behind, with the season having been pushed forward (a week),” Doenges said before a practice on Thursday. “I remember going into Week 1 last year thinking we weren’t as prepared, but everyone was in the same boat.”
Sidney’s first physical contact with an opponent was scheduled to take place Saturday morning; the Yellow Jackets were scheduled to travel to Northmont for a scrimmage.
Coleman had served as defensive coordinator for seven seasons but has switched sides following the departure of former offensive coordinator Britton Devier. Devier joined the program two years ago after taking a teaching job at Upper Valley Career Center but is now serving as an assistant principal at Ada.
“It was the best situation for us to do it that way and move Kyle to that side of the ball,” Doenges said. “We were wanting to change our offensive philosophy a little bit, so this was good time to move him.”
Doenges will take on play play calling duties for the first time in a while.
“I’ve called both sides of the ball, but it’s been a while since I’ve done it — probably 10 years since I was calling offense and 12 or 13 years since I was calling defense,” Doenges said.
“… The rest of our defensive staff is pretty veteran and has been intact. It was easier for me to take that over along with the head coaching responsibilities, because the guys on that side of the ball had done a great job of helping and filling in the gaps with stuff like practice planning.”
Sidney slightly changed around its offseason preparations in June and July. The squad went to a team camp for the first time in about five years, and Doenges said it was a productive experience.
“With switching things over a little bit on offense, we really wanted to maximize our time in June and July,” Doenges said. “… It is an expense on our booster group. The kids help out by selling cards and stuff. My goal has always been to go to a camp every three or so years so every player gets a chance to go while they’re here, but it has been a while.
“It worked out well to do it this year. We went to Tiffin (University) for it, and it was a neat experience. It’s a lot of prep work, but the guys enjoyed it, and it was nice to get six practices done in just three days.”
Doenges said Sidney’s numbers are similar to the last decade, with about 85 in the program this season. The program will continue to field freshman and junior varsity teams in addition to varsity.
The squad as a senior class of 14 players.
“That class is a little bit smaller than normal,” Doenges said. “It’s tough to follow up last year’s class, where we had 22 or 23 guys. But it’s a good senior class, and they’re working hard.
“We are a younger team this year. We did lose a lot from that class that just graduated. But we have a talented sophomore class, a lot of whom are going to have a lot of playing time for us.”
Sidney is scheduled to host Chaminade-Julienne for scrimmage at 6 p.m. on Thursday before opening regular-season play by hosting Bellefontaine on Aug. 19.