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Northwood High School (Pittsboro, NC) Head Football Coach Mitch Johnson is gearing up for an exciting season with his team. In a recent interview, Coach Johnson shared his insights on the team's strategy, goals, and standout players. Here's what he had to say:
When asked about the team's strategy and tactics for the upcoming season, Coach Johnson emphasized the importance of tailoring their approach to the players' strengths. He stated, "We want to do what our players feel comfortable with and also what they're built for. Our coaching staff is focused on coaching and teaching the little details so that our players understand the concepts and how all the pieces fit together."
As for new talent joining the team, Coach Johnson expressed his excitement. He noted that while there are a couple of new faces in the program, they have previously attended the school and decided to give football a shot. Coach Johnson's plan is to integrate these players into the existing lineup by emphasizing the importance of each player's role and their ability to adapt as needed.
When it comes to goals and aspirations for the season, Coach Johnson outlined a clear roadmap for the team. He mentioned that the program has set several building block goals, including winning county matchups, achieving a winning record, making the playoffs, winning the conference, hosting a playoff game, and playing at least through Thanksgiving week—a special time for North Carolina football.
Regarding key matchups and rivalries, Coach Johnson's approach is to treat every game as if it were their Super Bowl. While winning against county rivals holds special significance, the team aims to maintain focus and play to their highest level against every opponent. They prioritize self-improvement and avoid underestimating any team they face.
In terms of conditioning and training, Coach Johnson detailed the team's rigorous preparations. They have been working out, engaging in speed training, and focusing on agility and change of direction four days a week since February. Additionally, they have dedicated time to character development and building the program's culture. The team has also participated in skill development during Spring Ball and will continue training throughout the summer while competing in 7 on 7 games.
Coach Johnson highlighted several standout players who have shown exceptional skills and leadership qualities during the off-season. Among them are Junior TE/DE Gus Ritchey, Senior QB Carson Fortunes, Senior WR/DB Ashton Elliott, Junior WR/DB Isaiah Blair, Sophomore WR/DB Cam Fowler, Senior OL/LB Mason Powell, Sophomore OL Mickell Wilson, and Junior RB/DB Antoine Brewington. Coach Johnson, however, emphasized that the entire team has incredible potential, and he is excited to see what they bring to the table.
With Coach Mitch Johnson's thoughtful approach to strategy, the team's well-defined goals, and a roster full of talented players, Northwood High School's football program is poised for an exhilarating season ahead.
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