From Odin’s Word
There have been many changes at Princeton High School (PHS) this year. A new school and a new staff including a new
football coach. Calvin Johnson is entering his first year as head coach for Varsity football at PHS. His previous coaching position was at Winton Woods High School. The initial part of his Princeton coaching term was spent working as a security officer at the old high school. Coach Johnson has had to face many challenges to change the culture of the team. The players have all adapted to his system, his coaching style, and believe in what coach Johnson has been saying. The changes to the team are visible not only on the field, but throughout the school.
“He’s really passionate about the game of football, and really cares for the players,” said senior and defensive back, Allen Clay.
Clay also added that Johnson has a signature punishment that he likes to implement. He calls it “an oldie but a goodie.” Johnson uses this to teach his players discipline, both on and off the feild. Freshman wide receiver and long snapper, Quincy Dawson, is getting his first chance at playing football in high school.
“He’s a coach who gives good (fair) opportunities,” said Dawson.
In previous years, freshmen weren’t given much of a chance to play. This year, however, those who attended camp in the summer earned an opportunity to play and dress on the varsity and JV teams. Steve Watson, assistant varsity coach, has worked with eight different head coaches from the middle school and high school.
“ Coach Johnson has brought together a great group of coaches that have experience and knowledge,” said Watson.
By working with Coach Johnson, the team’s goals for this football season are to win the division and go to playoffs. With the team’s mentality, they feel that there is a great chance to make it all the way to the state championship. According to Johnson, the reason he wanted to lead the Vikings’ football team was that he saw this position as a great opportunity to challenge himself as a coach and to make a difference in young men’s lives. Replacing long time coach, Gary Crowley, has been a difficult position to fill. This was especially hard considering Coach Crowley had been the head Varsity Coach and for the previous three years and.Coach Johnson was able to take on a challenge head-on, and continue to make his own mark on the team.
“It’s difficult because Coach Crowley is a good man, and has done great things for the Princeton community,” said Johnson.
One unique way Johnson was able to connect with this group of young men he has never worked with before was by being true to himself and being straight to the point. He has been straightforward with all the players and has given them all an opportunity to display their true potential on and off the field.
“Trust, care, and commitment is what I preach to these kids,” said Johnson.
These three words have been the motto for the football team since Coach Johnson took over. His goal for the season is to play by these words and come together as a team to achieve success now and for the years to come.