Even things as simple as peanut butter and jelly sandwiches paired with chocolate milk after weight training and people who don’t have ties to the program driving up to the coach with trucks full of stuff that they think might help... and asking where they can put their cargo.
For the son of a coach, those kinds of things are humbling as the Patriots are in for a fight in Region 2-A:
“It’s good to be back in the game,” Cofer admits. “Working with Rex Hodges has been a good experience. What happened at Bacon took a lot out of me and tore me down a little bit. Working with the coaches and kids at Dodge, I can’t say enough about them. They took me in and I don’t know how to explain it. I still live over there and we had some good football teams.
“I have a great staff here, younger guys, and we’re just breaking the kids in to a new way of thinking. We’re getting a new weight room soon and we’re teaching basics. Our lines are going to be key for us this year. We don’t have a Nick Marshall this season, but we do have some athletes.”
Cofer admits that he has had to dial back the playbook a little bit in practice after the initial introductions. But he also says that he has 46 athletes right now ready to represent Wilcox County on the field. If a freshman is good enough to play, he’ll get reps. And the middle school team is practicing with the varsity to get everyone together, acquainted, and ready to play- for this year and the future.
“I think being in this region is a positive,” Cofer says. “I’m still trying to get used to the power rankings in Single-A. I want to play the good teams to get points you need to make the playoffs. But, even going back to my time at Cook, I always say that you can’t play cupcakes. You have to play tough teams to get ready for a championship. If you’re playing good ball and beating who you’re supposed to be, you ought to get in to the postseason.”
If he can get a win over one of the region’s perennial powers, Cofer thinks it will give the Patriot program an added boost of confidence going forward. They’ll try and be as physical as they can.
“I have an AD in Josh Owens, who is from here, and he’s busting his tail to make sure we have everything we need,” Cofer says. “The administration has been amazing here. And the Chairman of the Board of Education, Mr. Barry Collier, coached with my dad back in the day. I didn’t know that until the job was offered to me. I have a little history from him when I was little, so that’s really nice.”
They just had a “Meet the Patriots” night last week and everyone is really excited about the future. But there’s a lot of hard work ahead and Cofer has an idea at the top of his “To Do” List for 2018.
“We want to make a playoff run,” he admits. “I want to win right now and we’re going to keep putting that in our kid’s heads.
“We want to do it right now.”