For Eisenhower’s first-year football team, there is no past to build on. Instead, coach Charlie Nally and his team will be responsible for writing Eisenhower’s history.
All focus for this season falls on one thing: setting the pace for years to come.
“We’re going to establish all of our tradition, everything we do is new,” Nally said. “That’s why it’s exciting for the coaching staff, because it’s a blank sheet, what we do is what we build off of.
“The work ethic is going to be elevated, and if you do that, the winning tradition will come.”
Nally coached Goddard before moving to the new school. Five starters from last year’s combined Goddard team are at Eisenhower.
“The thing is, (Eisenhower’s opponents) don’t know what to expect from us because it’s all new,” Nally said. “They can look at what they did last year at Goddard, but that’s not what we’re going to do at Eisenhower.”
Eisenhower’s offense will combine Trevor Hughes at quarterback, Dylan Thompson at running back and Jacob Richardson at receiver, for a speed-dependent scoring approach.
“We’re running a spread offense using skill people as much as possible and using quickness up front,” Nally said. “For the linemen, we’re not huge, so we’re not a power-type attack. We’re using more finesse than speed and power.”
On defense, Nally plans to rely on defensive ends Masen Allen and Austin Gold, two seniors that played for Goddard last year.
“I’m going to try to set an example on and off the field; go hard every play and have the freshmen follow my lead,” Allen said. “I’d like to be only a sophomore or a junior.”
However, with a young, new team, Nally and his players do not know what to expect from themselves.
“We’re pretty evened out,” Nally said. “We’re going to have to play a little more iron-man football until we get some young players that can step up and do the job.”
Establishing winning traditions this season will depend on the 14 seniors, but continuing will be the responsibility of the rest of Eisenhower’s young team.
“It’s more than just wearing a different uniform,” Allen said. “It’s starting a whole-new football program and the traditions that we set will be carried out for a while so I will be proud to be a part of that.”