Coachspeak: Huntsville's Kevin Wieseman
HUNTSVILLE – Kevin Wieseman wants respect.
The Huntsville Panthers football coach earned plenty of it in 2008, leading his team to a 10-4 record, a Class 6A, Region 8 title and the state semifinals. Huntsville’s success was by design, as Wieseman upgraded the Panthers’ schedule to include tougher non-region opponents during the regular season – which resulted in the school’s first trip to the state semifinals since 1981.
Wieseman took time out of his 2009 preseason preparation to visit with CoachesAid.com for an Alabama Football Coach Q&A:
Q: How is Huntsville’s preseason going so far?
A: It is going well. We have some guys who are not bad. (Senior linebacker Conner) Neighbors and (senior offensive tackle Patrick) Junen and (senior offensive lineman Terrence) Jones are all looking good. We have some pretty good players. And we have a lot of holes. We have a sophomore quarterback who will be alright, but he is a sophomore. The kids are trying hard, and our numbers are as big as ever – up to 90 on varsity. Our region will be so competitive, so we will not know what to expect yet.
Q: Do you and your staff look ahead at opponent film more than one game away, to try and get ahead?
A: To tell you the truth, there is no way we can do that. I know we don’t get much respect within the state about our region, but top to bottom it is so tough that we can’t look ahead. And we have to teach 4-5 classes, so we don’t have time to even glimpse ahead as coaches. Oxford and Spain Park are looking at film two weeks ahead, and we can’t even think about them until Saturday before their game.
Q: How nervous do you get before games? And do you have any superstitions?
A: I want to be organized to the tee, really. When the kids get down here at 2:30, I want every minute planned to kickoff. Then all heck breaks loose and it is out of control. That is what keeps me calm, the structure and discipline. It keeps our kids calm too. I can’t imagine a 16, 17 year old kid all hyped up, too. Having all that is key to our success.
Q: What are Huntsville’s expectations heading into 2009?
A: In studying what Coach Saban and others bring, we really don’t put the big goals out there. Win the next play. Don’t do big things. That is our goal, and it has really helped me focus. You can’t look for a 6-1 or a 7-1 region record, but you can look to win the next play. We want to narrow it, so one play turns into two and eventually it is on your side. We have backed down from the big goals to the small ones.
Q: Were you happy with your team’s effort in 2008, and what would you like to see improved this year?
A: It is satisfying in that we were really 7-3 going into playoffs. But looking and remembering two years ago walking off field against Mountain Brook, we knew we needed to go play the good people. For us to get as far as we wanted to, we needed to put Region 6 teams on the board, or Tuscaloosa teams or Prattville in the spring like we have. You hear that all the time, but it is scary to do. We saw that last year, the quality of our competition, made that run even more special.
The Huntsville Panthers open the 2009 season on the road Aug. 27 at Sparkman, and begin the home season Sept. 4 against Grissom.
article updated on 08/19/09 13:54