by Larry Ham
The Reedley College Tigers kick off the 2015 football season today as they visit Mendocino College in Ukiah.
Head Coach Randy Whited begins his seventh season as Tiger head coach, and he says the coaching experience is as much fun and challenging today as it was when he began his coaching career. “Every year can be different as team and staff dynamics can change. I can say that this year has gotten off to a very enjoyable start.”
Coach Whited has been coaching a long time. He started his coaching career 37 years ago, and been coaching at Reedley College since 1990. What keeps him going? “My energy levels aren’t what they used to be but still plenty left in the tank. Honestly, my wife has a lot to do with it; she is my best friend, my greatest fan, and my best Assistant Coach.”
This year’s Tiger team is extremely young and inexperienced at many positions. The two offensive stars from last season transferred to four year schools – Quarterback Joshua Allen to Wyoming, and Receiver Raphael Aroujo-Lopes to Pittsburgh. But despite those losses, coach Whited likes what he sees in this year’s team. “They are young and very athletic! Strengths will be our depth; weaknesses will be our youth early in the season.”
He also noted something potentially special about this year’s team – a tight bond that has developed much earlier than most seasons. “Many of this year’s freshman class come from strong two parent families that are involved in their son’s lives. Most of the parents came out to deliver their sons to Reedley College, which is huge. The character of this team is very good and they have made good decisions to date. It is still early but I do not foresee any “bombs” in the near future.”
Obviously when you talk about a football team in 2015, you start with the quarterback position. Coach Whited says there are three quarterbacks who should see playing time in the early going. “All performed equally in our “Orange & Black” scrimmage last Friday and will get their opportunity
to play this weekend. The one who gets the hot hand and commands the offense the best will stay in the game. This is a good situation; it creates great competition.”
When you look at Reedley’s schedule, you see a first week trip to Mendocino College – all the way up in Ukiah. It’s one of the longest trips the Tigers have ever taken for a game, but Coach Whited will not use the long trip as an excuse. “We constantly talk about controlling the things we can control. We can’t control ‘who’ we play, but we can control ‘how’ we play. We have no control over travel distance.
And finally, I asked Coach Whited to give our readers a reason why they should come out to the Tigers’ five home games this season, including “The Battle For The Pump” against Fresno. “Because we are flippin’ fun to watch!!!!!!!!! Hope to see all of Reedley in attendance at our home opener on Saturday, September 12 versus San Jose City College.”
I echo that thought – let’s get out and support the Tigers in 2015!
Watch for game recaps here in KRL the Monday after the September 12 game!