05/13/08 — Sanders ready to lead Spring Creek

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Sanders ready to lead Spring Creek

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on May 13, 2008 3:26 PM

SEVEN SPRINGS -- Aaron Sanders understands the daunting task he faces.

The new Spring Creek varsity football coach must revive a program that finished winless in 2007. Energetic and eager, Sanders has devised a plan to improve the Gators in both the short and long term.

"The first thing we have to do is get things going in the weight room," said Sanders as he sat in his new office adjacent to the gym. "If you aren't going to get stronger, you won't be able to compete when the season gets here. We have been incorporating some of the 'Bigger, Faster, Stronger' program in our workouts, and I have some of my own exercises to work in."

Sanders has spent the past five seasons on the coaching staff in different capacities. He's familiar with the players he'll inherit, especially the offensive linemen, in late July.

"I am an offensive minded guy, and I have been working with the linemen the most," said Sanders. "We return four of our five offensive linemen, so that should be a strength going into the year. It's good because I know who I can push, and who I can expect a lot from.

"I already know what buttons to push with some of the guys, to get the best out of them."

But designing an offense suitable to his personnel will be one of Sanders' many challenges.

"I would not mind if the defense never had to take the field," Sanders joked. "But because we do not have a junior varsity program, we will be spending a lot of time teaching fundamentals.

"Coaching the offense is a lot like teaching. You have to take things step by step. If you make it too simple, it will be easy for other teams to figure out on Friday nights, but at the same time you can't start things so complicated that the kids don't understand."

Recruiting some additional players to the gridiron is also on the new coach's agenda.

"Last year we only dressed 25 players for the last game, and that was without a JV team," Sanders said. "Hopefully we can attract some more guys, and as the program grows in numbers it will certainly make us better."

Despite the dismal results in 2007, the hiring of Sanders has brought about new-found optimism within the athletic department. He replaces Roy Whitfield, who retired in December after starting the varsity football program from scratch seven years ago.

"We have all the confidence in the world that Aaron is going to do a great job," said Spring Creek athletic director Heath Whitfield said. "We had several applicants, anywhere from 22 years old to 70 years old, but when all was said and done Aaron was the right man for the job.

"He knows the school, and the kids, and his five years of experience here made him the standout candidate."

As Sanders gets accustomed to his new surroundings, he knows that he has to keep things in perspective.

"I would be foolish to come in here and say that we're going to compete for a conference title," said Sanders. "Our goal is to get better, build a program and win some football games."