Unbeaten Winona + Second-Year Head Coach Keylon Kincade Learning Together
[By Mike Craven, Special to ETSN.fm]
One more non-district game remains for Winona High School, but head coach Keylon Kincade and the Wildcats have already doubled their total wins from the 2014 season.
A victory at Hawkins and a home-win against Grand Saline set the Wildcats up at 2-0 entering this week’s game against Ore City.
“We came in during the summer of 2014 and it was extremely hard for all of us last season. As a player or a coach, 2014 was the hardest year I’ve ever had,” Kincade said. “We didn’t know our team because we weren’t there for most of the offseason. We didn’t know who could do what and all of that, but we’re getting there. This 2-0 start isn’t the finish line. We have bigger goals. We’re talented enough to play with anyone on our schedule if we come in focused and mentally prepared.”
Kincade knows about the process of winning. He’s seen it from all different sides as a prep star, a football player at SMU and even time with the Dallas Cowboys.
“My experience in college and the NFL helped me understand the business side of football and how to treat everywhere like a classroom,” he said. “I’m as much of a teacher as anything. We’re learning no matter if we’re watching film or in the weight room or on the practice field. It is a constant learning experience and that is what I’m trying to instill in our players. It doesn’t happen overnight, but if you look at this like you would learning and perfecting a subject in school it gets much easier.”
Kincade says Winona’s success is due to their team speed. The Wildcats are capable of big plays on offense and use a swarming attack on defense.
“I knew we’d be fast, but seeing it and believing it are two different things. It is nice to see that natural speed roll over onto the football field,” Kincade said. “We need to focus on being perfect with our alignment and assignment. The consistency from a mental aspect is key because football is 90 percent mental. Being athletic is just a small part of having success. We must play smart football.”
Winona only won one game in 2014, but a 2-0 start could turn into an undefeated non-district season with a home-win over Ore City tonight. The Rebels are also 2-0 entering the game.
“Ore City is a pretty good football team,” Kincade said. “We need to minimize their big play abilities and gang tackle. Offensively, we just have to play our game and not get too high or too low.”