BLUEJACKET — New Bluejacket coach Lee Bluejacket hopes that the Chieftains don’t miss a beat.
A former Welch Wildcat, Lee Bluejacket had been at Maysville the previous two seasons, posting a 15-9 record.
The Warriors reached the second round of the Class B playoffs each year.
He’s taking over a program that has won 53 games over the past six seasons, have had three 10-win seasons and has reached the second round of the playoffs three times.
He succeeds Ronnie Simmons, who was 71-69 in 14 seasons.
The Chieftains were 18-52 from 2004-2011 but won 53 games and has reached the playoffs seven straight years.
“They were really down and he built it back up,” Lee Bluejacket said of Simmons. “I am going to try to continue on.”
Like any time there is a change, both players and coaches have a feeling-out period as each gets to know the other.
“There is a learning curve that we’ve got to be able to do as a new coach coming in,” Lee Bluejacket said. “They have to pick up my style. I vary slightly from what Coach Simmons did. He’s been successful with them and I want to do the same thing as much as I can.”
The Chieftains will rely on the arm of senior quarterback Coy McGlasson as well as running backs Charles Spiegel and Keegan Francis and wide receiver Gabe Arrevillagas.
It’s been an open casting call for the other positions.
“Bluejacket is a little different animal than what I am used to,” Lee Bluejacket said. “I’ve always been a power runner-trap guy and the way we’re built, I think this year we will do more spread and throw the ball.
“Unlike my style of the old Welch days of pound it, use the hawgs and run right over you, we’re going to have to throw the ball around to be successful. I feel very confident.”
McGlasson is the only senior on the Bluejacket roster.
Lee Bluejacket said McGlasson has the qualities “to be the potential to be the best quarterback I’ve ever coached.”
McGlasson has thrown for 5,197 and 52 touchdowns over the past three seasons.
He played in only five games last season, but still completed 51 passes for 919 yards and 10 scores.
He had 2,010 yards and 22 TDs as a sophomore and 2,258 yards and 20 scores his freshman year.
McGlasson was hurt in a 48-0 win over Welch in Week 5.
“I’ve got to get some receivers for him that can handle the ball,” Lee Bluejacket said.
He thinks Arrevillagas can help fill that role despite the fact he caught only one pass for 11 yards last season.
“He shot up in size and is about 6-3, 6-4 now and about 200 pounds,” Lee Bluejacket said. “He has monster hands, so he is going to be a pretty formidable task for a corner. He will be the lead receiver.”
McGlasson was the Chieftains’ second-leading rusher with 561 yards and 12 touchdowns despite touching the ball only 57 times.
Spiegel had 585 yards on 58 carries and a pair of scores and Francis contributed 90 yards and one TD.
“I am happy with my backfield — we just have to get some linemen up front,” Lee Bluejacket said.
Kadan Tipton, a 5-2, 150-pound freshman, can fill several roles, including offensive guard.
He will be a backup quarterback and running back and will see action at linebacker.
“He probably is one of the hardest hitters on the team,” Lee Bluejacket said.
“With our numbers (only 13 during the preseason drills), we will probably have four and maybe five guys that will never come off the field, other than time outs and halftime,” Lee Bluejacket said. “I have to be able to have the best athletes out there just because of the numbers.”
Lee Bluejacket admits that the Oct. 26 game with Welch will be a hard one on him.
“It’s a game I am not looking real forward to actually,” he said. “I know some people will be excited.
“Welch, that’s where I went to school even though my last name is Bluejacket, I grew up and was raised in Welch. We tried to beat Bluejacket as much as we could.
But now I am all Bluejacket. I would love to see Welch win every game — except the one against the Bluejacket Chieftains.”