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The Coach's Corner
by Jim Green
Sept. 21, 2006

    The other day, someone asked my wife how she was doing.
She responded that she was fine.  Then she was questioned
as to how I was doing.  Again, she said that I was fine.
But then she was asked if I was enjoying myself.  She
said that she thought so, but that we have both been busy
since school started and haven't talked much about
football.  She hadn't really questioned me about that sort
of thing, and I hadn't said a whole lot about how things
have gone thus far.

    So she asked me, “Are you enjoying yourself?”  I
responded that if I weren't enjoying myself, I wouldn't do
what I am doing.  She said that yes, we are having a
tremendous season thus far, but was I really taking the
time to enjoy all the things that are happening?  That got
me thinking.  Sometimes we get so caught up in what we are
doing and work so hard to make sure that things go the way
we want them too, that we don't take the time to enjoy and
appreciate what is really happening.

    Time for the ol' coach to think about what's going on.
For you see, with our recent successes comes added
expectations and pressures.  That's fine because it makes
us work that much harder to achieve our goals - and we
have some lofty ones!  But as I look at the way the
program is now, I really am enjoying the way things are
going and where things are headed!

    First off, I can't say enough about the coaches I am able
to work with each and every day.  They truly care about
the young men that wear the purple helmets, and not just
as football players, but as people.  It's most enjoyable
because we're able to get along so well.  Sure we disagree
on certain things and don't always see eye to eye on every
issue, but we respect each others' thoughts, ideas, and
abilities - knowing that what we decide in the end is best
for the Plano Reaper football program.  If it weren't for
each and every one of them, it wouldn't be as much fun as
it is!

    Another aspect that certainly is important in making
things enjoyable are the players themselves.  Regardless
of the record, if you have a good group to work with -
then it makes coaching that much more enjoyable.  And we
have a great group to work with right now - winning just
adds to the fun!  But what also adds to this are the
numbers of players that we have.  There were years where
we didn't even have enough players to scrimmage each other
in practice - that was discouraging.  Now, we are close to
forty at the varsity level and almost fifty on the
fresh-soph squad!  And after watching the youth tackle
teams play over the course of the season, I only see the
numbers going up.

    So, yes, I am enjoying myself and being a part of Plano
Reaper football!  We have the program headed in the right
direction, and we are looking to become a mainstay at the
top of our conference.  It is truly a joy for me to work
with the staff that I have and the players that represent
our school and community.  It is also fun for me to watch
these young men, who have put in years of hard work to
become the football players that they are, get the results
and recognition they are getting.  I hope all of you are
enjoying the games and appreciate the efforts that these
young men have given and will continue to give.  All they
are ever asked to do is play to the best of their
abilities knowing that the scoreboard will take care of
itself!!  So far so good as we head to Westmont in hopes
of being 5-0.   Thanks again for following the Reapers



The Coach's Corner
by Jim Green
September 14, 2006

    As a teacher, especially in the subject area of
mathematics, I realize how important statistics can be to
us.  I remember taking Probability and Statistics I and II
while in college and doing a lot of calculating of data
samples and standard deviations.  We are constantly being
given statistics in our world about things like polls,
education scores, Nielsen ratings, weekend movie
attendance, and so on.  But nowhere are we given more
numbers and statistics than in the world of sports!

    It seems that after every game, I get asked about our
stats.  People want to know how many yards this back ran
for, or how many catches did this player have, or how many
turnovers did your defense force.  Others will ask me how
many yards we got on offense or how many yards our defense
held the opponent to in a particular game.  The media
wants to know how long our touchdown scores were, what the
time of possession was, how many first downs each team
had, and so on.

    Each week I get asked to submit our cumulative statistics
for each of our offensive skill positions (QB, RB, and
WR).  So each week I send them in, and if our player
happens to be an area leader in a category - it gets
printed.  If they are not in the top five or six, then
they don't get mentioned.  During interviews, I often get
asked about particular players' averages or totals, and I
try to answer to the best of my recollection.  But I hope
you will all understand when I say that the statistics are
not important to me at all.  It is nice for our young men
to get some personal recognition, but football is a team
sport, and my players understand that.  If they are not
one of the area leaders - that's fine.  I know it's not a
big deal to them.  They are, however, team leaders - and
that's what's important!

    Coach Cappel of Reed Custer said it best after Friday
night's game - “statistics are for losers”.  With one
minute left in the first quarter, Reed Custer had the ball
for 10 minutes and 42 seconds while running 23 plays; we
had it for one play and 18 seconds.  The score - Plano 7
and RC 0.  Anyone looking at the stats of that game would
see that Reed Custer ran almost twice as many plays as we
did, had more first downs than we did, had over 100 yards
more offense than we did, as well as lead us in time of
possession by about eight minutes.  But you see, games
aren't decided by the stats.    In the end, what matters
are the lights on the scoreboard and it read Plano 14 and
Reed Custer 7!

    I want to congratulate our Youth Tackle teams  on some
very fine performances this past weekend against Coal
City.  All of the teams played well, and we ended up
winning three out of the four games.  This Friday, our
special guests are going to be the lightweight PYTF team.
They are going to be introduced individually at halftime
of our varsity contest against Seneca.  Hope to see
everyone there.

    Before ending, I have to admit that although I claim the
stats aren't all that important to me (and the team),
there is one that I keep close tabs on and is of utmost
importance.  Right now that stat is 3-0 and we're working
on making it 4-0 tomorrow night!  Thanks again for
following the Reapers!


The Coach's Corner   

by Jim Green       

September 7, 2006

Plano Youth Tackle Football

    It's always a great day when we are able to defeat our
rivals - the Sandwich Indians!  Thanks to all of you who
came out and supported the Reapers last Friday night.  We
know from watching Sandwich on film from the week before
that they did not play as well against us, but we feel
like we played better than we did the previous Friday
night (except for the penalties).  We know that we beat a
very good football team that is going to battle for the
conference title in the big division of the Interstate
Eight.  Now we have our eyes set on the favorite in that
other division - the Comets of Reed Custer.

    This week I would like to talk about the Plano Youth
Tackle Football program.  Many of the young men that you
see on the field on Friday nights or read about each week
have participated in this program - some since they were
in the first grade!  At halftime of our varsity home
games, we introduce the players of each of our youth
teams.  I cannot say enough about this program, the
volunteers involved, and how much it means to the high
school program - it would take pages of the newspaper.
But I'll brag about this program anyway!

    The program was started back in the late 1980's.  Back
then our teams had to play against teams like Oswego,
Plainfield, and Joliet, just to name a few.  Four years
ago, the association decided to leave those teams and join
a new association where we now play a number of our own
conference teams as well as teams like Monee, Momence,
Morris,  and Channahon-Minooka.  Each town has four squads
based on age and weight - Superlightweights, Lightweights,
Junior Varsity, and Varsity.  If you haven't been out on
either a Saturday or a Sunday to watch, you should come
out and see our young Reapers.

    The only way that “PYTF” is able to survive and continue
from year to year is because of the volunteers that take
the time to work with and for our young people.  This
includes, but is not limited to, all of the officers,
coaches (both for football and cheerleading), concessions
workers, 50/50 helpers, and each chain gang.  Thanks to
all of you who volunteer your time to help out - it is
very much appreciated!  One person that I would like to
mention for all of the countless hours he puts in is
current president Brian Peruski.  Brian has been president
now for about 5 seasons and has volunteered as a coach for
a lot longer than that.  He puts in a lot of hours dealing
with parents, equipment, fields, coaches, meetings, and
the league itself - thank you Brian!

    Another reason I wanted to mention Coach Peruski is
because when he took over as president, I was named the
head coach of the Reapers.  He and I sat down and we went
over terminology, schemes, and other things that I would
be implementing at the high school level.  He wanted to
try as much as possible to do the same with our youth
tackle players.  The varsity PYTF team runs exactly the
same offensive plays and defenses that we run.  I know
that the junior varsity PYTF team uses a lot of our
terminology.  I can't tell you how important that is for
us coaches at the high school.  Our players come in
knowing plays, schemes, who to block, how to blitz, and
much  more.  It enables us to expand what we do and allows
us to do a lot more.  I, along with the rest of the
coaches, are very appreciative.  I have to give a lot of
credit of our recent success to what is done at PYTF!

    Good luck to all of the youth tackle teams this weekend.
I hope everyone is able to travel down to Reed Custer on
Friday and watch the Reapers.  Both teams enter at 2-0 and
both teams are ranked in the top ten in their respective
classes in Illinois.  It should be a very good contest!
Thanks again for following the Reapers!



The Coach's Corner
by Jim Green
August 31, 2006


    I'm sure that most of you felt as I did last Friday
evening - finding it hard to believe that the gridiron
season was finally upon us, but was sure glad it was
finally here!  I know that for one particular group of
young men and a group of veteran coaches it couldn't get
here any quicker.  Although we enjoyed a magical ride last
season, that loss late last November just one week shy of
playing for the class 3A championship has left us hungry
for more.  Our goal for this year is to play for and win
that championship on Friday, November 24th.  However, it
is not just going to be handed to us, so I would like to
fill you in on how we have begun preparing for this

    We started back in June, handing out helmets and shoulder
pads to all of our prospective players going into grades
9-12.  We held a week of camp beginning on Monday, June 12
and finished that week off with a 7 on 7 competition at
Oswego East High School on Friday, June 16.  For those of
you that don't know what 7 on 7 is, let me explain.  It is
basically football without linemen.  The offense uses 7
players to work on their passing game, while the defense
uses 7 players to work on their pass defense.  It helps
our offense to work on pass routes and timing, while it
helps our defense by trying to defend other teams pass
plays and work on our coverages.  In each 7 on 7, each
team normally runs between 25 and 30 plays depending on
time.  That particular Friday, we played three contests
and found ourselves up against Yorkville, Marmion, and
Plainfield South.

    After a day off on Saturday, June 17, we took 32 of our
varsity players to Bourbannais, IL for a 3-day camp at
Olivet Nazerene University.  The Chicago Bears also use
Olivet as their summer training camp.  This was the first
time we have ever taken a team to camp, and I think it
proved quite beneficial.  Coach Lucas had been to this
camp before with previous teams he has coached, so he
recommended it and I have to credit him with getting this
all set up.  Camp ran from Monday through Wednesday, and I
know that our players learned a great deal - about
football, about their team, and about themselves!  We went
up against other teams from around Illinois including
Neaqua Valley, Salt Fork, Herscher, Peotone, Coal City,
Elmwood Park, and even one team from Indiana!  We were
able to work on a great deal of things at camp and got a
lot accomplished.  We are certainly planning to return
next summer!

    After returning from camp and taking the rest of the week
off, we finished off June with a couple of camps on Monday
and Wednesday and then returned to Oswego East for another
7 on 7 on June 30.  That Friday we got to match up with
Yorkville, Geneva, and Oswego East.  Again, our players
did quite well in these matchups against larger schools
than our own and we were very pleased with our

    We took off the week of July 4th and returned to having
camps on Mondays and Wednesdays throughout the rest of the
month.  This gave us time to work on some fundamentals,
teach some plays, and go over some new things we will be
doing this season.  We also invited Aurora Christian over
on a Tuesday for a 7 on 7, and then Yorkville the
following week for another 7 on 7 at Reaper Stadium.  I
want to thank them for coming over and wish both of those
teams the best of luck this season!

    Then came August, a time where coaches cannot have
contact with players until the first day of practice,
which was Wednesday, August 9.  We had two practices a day
between the hours of 7:30 am and 1:30 pm for just over a
week, and finished that off with our scrimmages on Friday,
August 18.  Then school started last week, so we were down
to one practice a day and got into our normal routine of
practices in preparation for our game.

    Then, finally, it was game time last Friday.  With Reaper
Stadium looking so wonderful thanks to the efforts of our
grounds crew (in particular Carl Ferguson who spends
countless hours making sure everything looks great) and
the newly painted press box (thanks to the efforts of Mike
LeMaster), our Reapers went out and showed you just what
they've been working on.  I want to thank all of the
players and coaches for their dedication this summer in
preparing for what we hope is another successful season.
I also want to thank all of you for coming out to support
us - it had to be one of the largest opening game crowds
that we've had in a number of years!

    We certainly hope that you will all make the trip 5 miles
west tomorrow evening as we take on our rivals - the
Sandwich Indians.  They are coming off a huge victory over
the Coal City Coalers last week as they won 18-7 at Coal
City.  We're certain that this will be quite a matchup and
I'm confident that there are going to be many people in
attendance (especially since there's no fair to go to this
year).  So wear your purple, get there early, and cheer us
on!  Thanks again for following the Reapers!