When Allen Harris was named as the new head coach of the Lynn Camp football program he made it his goal to return the Wildcats to a tradition of winning.
In order to make that happen, Harris knew that his players would need to look and feel like winners whenever they would come together to work out and discuss game strategy. The Cats now have the perfect place to do just that with the recent unveiling of a brand new field house, complete with shiny new weightlifting equipment, a storage closet filled with new pads and helmets, and a custom locker room area for the Wildcats to store all of their belongings when not in use.
“For the past few years there has been no field house,” said Harris about this new addition. “Our kids have had no sense of ownership. They haven’t had a locker room, and have lived out of net bags. My vision was to give them a place where they can come and feel like they belong. I want them to take pride in what they’re doing, and not have to carry a net bag full of equipment around from classroom to classroom.”
When asked about the process that had to take place in order for this dream to become a reality, Harris said, “We wanted the facility to be top notch. A lot of people put their heads together, we thought about what we wanted, and we did it. I believe there’s not a better high school facility around here right now.”
“Since my feet have hit the ground here as head coach, the Board of Education and the Lynn Camp administration has been 110% behind me,” Harris continued. “We got all of the support that they could possibly give us, and then we reached out to the community. That response has been overwhelming.”
“It’s really not just the football players that have ownership in this. It’s the entire school. We’re very proud of it, and you can tell that our kids are happy to be here when they come to work out. They’re proud to be a part of something that’s special.”
As for the on-the-field benefits of having a facility such as this, Harris said that he is already beginning to see results. “We’ve lifted above the gym in a little bitty room since I’ve been here,” he said. “You can maybe get ten in there working out, so the rest of the team has to be somewhere else doing something else. We were always scattered, but now we get to work out together like football teams are supposed to.”
“Just seeing how happy the kids were the first day that we let them come in and see the facility made all of the hard work that we’ve put in totally worth it to me and the rest of the coaching staff. When they come in here now you can tell there is a sense of urgency. They’re working hard, trying to return the favor for our hard work by making us proud and working hard themselves.”
Harris said that all of that hard work will absolutely pay dividends for his team when they return to the gridiron this fall, adding that he is witnessing an increase in strength and speed out of his entire roster. Much of that can be contributed, he believes, to the fact that the Cats now have a bright and spacious field house that they can call home.
And along with that new home is also coming a totally new mindset. Covering the walls of Lynn Camp’s field house are several slogans that Coach Harris will be repeating to his team throughout the coming season, and in the years to come. Among those slogans are “Expect 2 win,” “Strength and honor,” and “Family.”
“Our kids are starting to learn the work ethic that we expect, and are getting to the level that we want them to be at,” said Harris. “Our motto is that nobody is going to outwork us. We are going to give it everything we’ve got.”
With the 2015 season just a couple of months away, this is certainly a very exciting time for everyone involved with Wildcat football. In addition to the unveiling of the new field house, Coach Harris has also been busy making plans to debut a flag football league for elementary aged children in the area. In doing so, he hopes to be able to develop players from the time they are able to learn about the game, helping them to be ready for varsitylevel football when the time comes.
In closing, coach Harris wanted to let everyone involved with the construction of the new facilities know just how much he appreciates their help. He also wanted to express his excitement over the future of theLynn Camp football program. “I feel like there is a big buzz about our team this year,” he said. “Everywhere I go I’ve heard nothing but positive things.”
“I thought the community would help us if we reached out, but I had no idea to what extent. The community support that has been given to us since I became head coach has been outstanding. Parent support is through the roof, we’ve been holding a lot of fundraisers that have been huge successes, and I just feel like everybody is really behind us right now, wanting us tosucceed. I also feel like people are getting excited about football here atLynn Camp again. Football is so important to our community, and I feel likepeople are beginning to get back into that frame of mind. That is very exciting for us.”