New Richmond – Wyoming East football coach Jimmy Adkins had an unusual rookie year in 2020.
In addition to the rigors of finding his way as a first-time head coach, he had to battle to COVID color map week in and week out while also abiding by the additional measures Wyoming County put in place.
The end result? A five-game season that was ended prematurely due to the pandemic.
Coming into year two, he feels fortunate the team was able to get in the games they did last season, even if their momentum came to a screeching halt.
“We played five games and we were fortunate to have those five games,” Adkins said. “I know there were teams statewide that got maybe two or three games, if that. So we were lucky and we were fortunate. I know it hit everybody hard, but speaking for us it hit hard because we had a big win before we got shutdown. I feel like for myself as a first-year head coach and dealing with COVID, I feel like after that River View game, I finally got stuff rolling and I feel like our guys got stuff rolling.
“I truly feel like we were getting ready to make a nice little run. That’s what hurts the most. We got that big win, we were confident coming in that following week and then boom! We weren’t together for the rest of the year.”
It was a trying year for Adkins but he was able to stay the course and take the positives along with the negatives.
Being a first-time head coach he did what he knew – he asked questions. Veteran head coaches became an invaluable resource for him, providing words of encouragement.
“I’ll put it to you this way,” Adkins said. “I try to stay in contact with a lot of the surrounding head coaches. These guys have been doing it. I am that sponge and I reach out to talk to them. These guys, all they told me last year is ‘look, you’re not going to have any worse of a year than you had this year.’ So now I talk to them and they’re like ‘I told you!’ because it’s easier now. It’s not easy, but it’s night and day compared to last year.”
Adkins also has a luxury most coaches don’t – a young quarterback he can grow with.
Last year Jackson Danielson started under center for the Warriors as a freshman, giving Adkins an option he could grow with and groom. The results thus far have been pretty positive as the sophomore has grown and understands what his coaches are asking of him.
“Jackson I would say has put on two or three inches in height,” Adkins said. “And I know he’s put on 20 or 30 pounds for sure. He’s been working hard. He’s starting to really understand the game, understand the concepts on offense and what we’re trying to do. Him being a sophomore, it’s just a night and day difference. Not saying he was rushed last year, but he was rushed to learn. Things are coming easy to him now, so it’s going to be a night and day difference between what you saw last year and what you see this year.”
Contact Tyler Jackson at firstname.lastname@example.org, call him at 304-731-5542 and follow on Twitter @tjack94