Jefferson Opens Spring Football Under New HC Gilgan

By Jeremy McDonald

JEFFERSON, Ore.– First-Year Jefferson Head Coach Kaleb Gilgan joked with one of his athletes Monday that, “You’re going to get strong”.

And as they finished up their agility drills to start practice, roughly 120 push-ups were given out for messing up the drill.

Accountability that the 2009 Sherwood-graduate is trying to instill and carry over from previous Head Coach Calvin Griggs from last season out of the gate Day 1 of Spring Camp.

“It’s a huge thing at a small school right?  You got 2A kids who are out here, last year they had 27 kids on the roster and they played with 22.  So having kids that are accountable and back other kids up and making sure everyone’s on top of it, that’s a huge thing and showing them through me is going to be the best way to show it,” said Gilgan.

The freshman Head Coach even popped down to the grass field and repped out ten push-ups himself to live up to what he wants to preach after tripping up on the latter at the start of practice as he takes over this season from Griggs.

Griggs departed the Lions program for North Marion, a 4A program in Aurora, after leading Jefferson to an 8-2 season overall last season and 4-1 in Central Valley Conference-play and reaching the first round of the 2A State Playoffs in 2019.

Kaleb Gilgan (purple hat), walking through a play during the first day of Spring Football (Picture By Jeremy McDonald)

Gilgan, who coached against the Lions three-years ago as an assistant with the Gervais Cougars, was a voluntary coach last season as him and his family moved to the community.

From Day one Gilgan was already started to walk through his offense, the Wing-T, and introducing a play with his misdirecting scheme.  He has 84 plays in his playbook to his disposal, but will go with about 10 or 15 on any given Friday night.

“The Wing-T is adaptable to the personal that you have and that’s the thing that I love about it.  I could come out here and I could run the Wing-T with three huge running backs and run the ball, or I could come out here and run the Wing-T with kids who could throw the ball and catch the ball,” starts Gilgan, who ran their lone-play with three backs in the backfield Monday afternoon.

“I think with the personal that we have right now, the Wing-T is the best bet for us.  The concept of the Wing-T itself is transferable to any level, I don’t think 6A, 5A, 1A, 2A really has a deal breaker in there.  I think we’ll utilize who we have and make it work.”

With 35 athletes fitted for helmets, eight more than last year’s roster, 12 were out for the first day of Spring practice.  Four of the six current High Schoolers are going to be Seniors while the other six are going to be freshman had ended the first day of practice with a fun game to work on team comradery entering the Summer and into the Fall.

“Teaching them to be able to help each other out, get each other up and do the right thing throughout the whole process.  It’s huge to be able to build the comradery, we have a small team they need to know that everyone has each other’s back,” said Gilgan.

Photos By Jeremy McDonald

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