Glaser, staff building more than just a winning team in East Beauregard

By By Albert Burford / American Press

DRY CREEK — The East Beauregard football team has four wins this season, its highest total since 2006. But the Trojans don’t

seem interested in stacking up results as a way to measure success.

Head coach Gordy Glaser and his staff spend as much of each day preaching the importance of development and responsibility

as they do going over plays or running drills.

“I have a wonderful staff,” Glaser

said. “I have a staff that mentors kids. They don’t just coach kids,

they mentor kids,

and that’s exciting. We’re more concerned about growing young men

than growing a record. These kids really understand this.”

Since an 18-12 loss to LaSalle in the season opener, the Trojans have won four consecutive games, snapping a 13-game losing

streak that stretched back to 2011.

Oddly enough, East Beauregard’s focus as it entered the season wasn’t some big turnaround or improvement in the win column.

“Coming into the season, we didn’t talk

about wins at all,” said assistant coach Joey Bartz. “We were not even

looking at

getting any wins. Winning is a by-product of what we’re trying to

bring to the program. We’re not in the business of winning

football games, we’re in the business of winning kids.”

The coaching staff is a mix of new and old, a group of leaders who have seen the ups and downs of many seasons of high school

football, but clearly recognize how to deal with their athletes.

Bartz said Glaser claims he’s only head coach by title, and he epitomizes a team player who knows how to bring out special

talents from his fellow coaches as well as the kids.

As the players hydrate on the sideline between drills, the coaches goof around with each other and make jokes. But as soon

as the team gets back on the field, they’re able to turn around and belt out instructions and advice.

An extra player lines up on the field

during a punting drill, which would result in a possible costly penalty

in a game situation.

Glaser handles it like a veteran, yelling to ask what he’s doing

on the field, and the player trots off. He quickly follows

by humorously letting the player know he appreciates his

enthusiasm to be part of the drill.

It’s those moments when East Beauregard’s coaching staff and athletes show their strengths.

“A lot of these kids have gone to kindergarten together,” Bartz said. “Of course they all know each other. With a newer staff

this year, they had to get to know us and our style. They had to buy in to what we were approaching them with, and that’s

firmness, fairness and friendliness. We’re not friendly all the time, because we’re football coaches. We’re always trying

to find that harmony.”

Despite the Trojans’ strong start, which includes wins against Oberlin and Merryville in their last two games, they realize

they will be tested with difficult opponents in District 4-1A.

“It’s expanded and we don’t know where we stand in the district as far as the top or the bottom and we really don’t care,

honestly,” Bartz said. “Of course everyone loves winning. I love winning, every one of these kids loves winning, but more

important to us is knowing how to win. That’s what we’re trying to teach them. It’s all about the attitude we bring.”

Whether intended or not, that attitude has helped usher in an era of wins the team hasn’t seen in recent seasons.

But even if the Trojans were to win every game left on their schedule, Glaser said it will be a while before he knows if the

team truly achieved.

“We want to build faith in God, good husbands and good fathers,” he said. “I’ll know whether we were successful 10 years from

now when they want their kids to play.”