Tyrone Davis had little time to prepare for his first season as football coach at Eau Claire in 2012.
He was hired in June, so he had no time to implement an off-season workout plan. He had to work with the hand he was dealt. The result was a 1-10 record, but Davis believes some groundwork was laid for the future.
“Our kids are really buying into our discipline and our commitment to what it takes to be a good program,” Davis said. “Eau Claire has not been, traditionally, a football school but the formula doesn’t change for whatever sports we have. If we follow that formula, we can be successful.”
Davis was able to put in a better off-season workout plan and he hopes that pays off.
“One of the first things we’ve tried to change is the off-season conditioning and weight-lifting program,” he said. “We need to do that in order for this program to move past where it’s been in the past. We’re not where we want to be but progress is being made.”
If the Shamrocks are going to improve from last year, they’re going to have to find a way to put points on the board. They scored 71 points a season ago and 30 of those came in their lone win.
Davis has instilled a spread offense to take advantage of the skill players on the roster. Jordan Thompson saw limited time at quarterback last season but he’s grown stronger and more accurate throwing the ball. Wallace Greene is a big-play threat at receiver and should get plenty of opportunities.
“Thompson leads by example,” Davis said. “He played some for us last year, and he brings great leadership and experience because of that. He’s got some guys to throw it to. We think Greene can have a big year for us.”
Eau Claire’s roster is thin with 26 players and Davis is hoping to add a few more before the season begins. There are six seniors among that group and the offensive line is extremely thin. Injuries could be a huge problem since Davis tries to play most guys on one side of the ball.
Chris McEntire has the most experience on the offensive line.
“We’re inexperienced on the offensive line,” Davis said. “We use the spread because that takes some of the pressure off them. We’re not very big up front, so we have to get the ball and throw it quickly.”
Defensively, Eau Claire will run a 4-3 with the line built around all-region pick Terrance Wilkins. Kareem Jones and Jamar Stroman are experienced at linebacker, and those three should be a core that hopes to put up better numbers if the offense can stay on the field longer.