By Colin Bado, TSB Staff
For the first time in his 17 years of coaching, McKinney North football coach Mike Fecci will not have his team participate in spring football.
“With our offensive coordinator leaving to be closer to family, acquiring a new offensive line coach (who has yet to start), our starting quarterback (Ben Dutze involved) in baseball, five coaches engaged in spring sports, and 17 kids going to the regional track meet, we came to the conclusion that spring ball wouldn’t be productive,” said Fecci.
While the news may come as a surprise to some, Fecci has constructed a thorough plan that will enable the Bulldogs to get the most out of the spring. Fecci said he will use the last month of school as an opportune time to increase his players’ athletic ability.
After posting a record of 3-7 in 2012, the Bulldogs are looking to rebound after a tough year.
“We set a goal heading into the offseason that we need to get bigger, faster, and stronger,” said Fecci. “Not doing spring ball will allow us to get in that weight room and be ready for performance course once summer kicks off.”
Even though the Bulldogs won’t be in pads this spring, the players will continue to hone their skills on the field. In theory, they have already begun spring ball as they spend more time working within their position groups on the field.
“We’ll increase our time out on the field and continue to get reps in and install as much as we can,” said Fecci. “Offensively, we know what we have. Our quarterback is returning, both running backs are back, and we have our wide receivers.”
North’s starting quarterback Dutze will enter his senior year next fall, after throwing for 1,338 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2012. Running backs Ronald Jones and Trey Smith are returning as well, with Jones running for 520 yards and nine touchdowns and Smith scoring two touchdowns and rushing for 268 yards.
“We won’t change our offensive system,” said Fecci. “Our new offensive coordinator will run a similar offense to what we’ve done in the past.”
North is still in search of an offensive coordinator and has not filled the position at this time.
New defensive coordinator Joe Welock will be installing a new scheme, as he replaces Billy Thompson. Welock is no stranger to McKinney North, as he has been with the school since 2003. He was the linebackers coach last season.
“Welock brings a whole different level of business to the program,” said Fecci. “He is an intense individual. He is a do it right, exactly right, kind of coach. The kids love him.”
According to UIL rules, by foregoing spring ball North is allotted six extra practices during two-a-days and an extra scrimmage.
“We play week zero,” said Fecci. “Having six extra practices and scrimmaging Corsicana and Princeton will prepare us for the season.”
North’s top-down approach to its program is easily implemented due to its football athletic period consisting of freshmen through juniors. The upperclassmen have the ability to work with the underclassmen and set the tone for the freshman.