The LaFayette High School football program kicked off the Chad Fisher Era this past Monday when the Ramblers opened up spring drills.
Fisher is replacing Tab Gable, who stepped down after three years at the helm. The energetic new coach is coming to LaFayette from Gordon Central where he took the Warriors to back-to-back playoffs appearances the past two seasons.
"The kids are trying to get to know me and I'm trying to get to know them," he explained. "The biggest thing were trying to teach is effort. We need our kids to play with great effort."
Another key point for Fisher is leadership, and several of the upcoming juniors and seniors wasted no time in making their mark. Many of the upperclassmen were vocal during a recent practice, encouraging younger players and even other upperclassmen to stay sharp during drills and focus on the task at hand.
"One thing we've been preaching since we got here is leadership," Fisher said, "and I'm really proud of our seniors for stepping up. They've given great effort so far."
Fisher said he was also encouraged by the numbers that have been attending workouts.
"We did our mat drills at 6:15 in the mornings throughout the month of April," he stated. "We averaged about 93 each morning with the highest number being 118 for a single morning. Those are really good numbers and hopefully that trend will continue."
The Ramblers will be employing new offensive and defensive schemes and formations for the 2013 season, and Fisher said the two weeks of spring practice would be spent trying to learn the nuances of the new systems.
"The biggest thing is just getting a grasp on the basics of the offense and defense," he said. "We also want to be fundamentally sound and do things the right way, so we're spending a lot of time on the fundamentals. A lot of things are changing for them since last year, so it will take some time. They just have to have a little patience and we'll get to where we need to be eventually."
LaFayette, who went 5-5 in both 2010 and 2011, fell to 1-9 season last year with the lone victory coming against Heritage. The Orange-and-Black will open the 2013 campaign on Sept. 6 with a trip to Trion, but Fisher said that now is not the time to be looking ahead.
"Our motto is 'win the day'," he added. "We just want to get better each day. We're not worried about tomorrow or the next day or even the season, we just want to approach this one day at a time."
LaFayette will holds its spring game on Wednesday, May 22 at 4:30 p.m.