New Coach, Same Leaders At Van Buren

VAN BUREN (KFSM) - Just ask the players; Casey Dick’s sudden departure took Van Buren by surprise.

"He was here, said he wouldn’t leave, but it’s all ok."

The Pointers regrouped, and prepared for a new head coach, for the third time in as many years. As senior Cha'Raun Page puts it, they're focused on each other.

"I mean, it’s a new change, but we’ve been through three changes, so it doesn’t really make a difference who’s coaching right now."

Crosby Tuck, elevated to head coach after a year as the Van Buren offensive coordinator, knows that a new head coach doesn’t necessarily mean new leaders

"They had a choice about a month ago on how they were gonna let that effect them. They came together, had a few player only meetings, and I think the seniors have done a great job of leading."

Junior QB Gary Phillips says this has been Tuck's message from the start.

He came in and told us, we need each other. We’re not doing it for the coaching staff, although they may be changing, we’re doing it for our teammates and the community. A lot of big time players are stepping up and taking control of our team."

Damarius Newton thinks that having been through this all before just makes the team tougher.

"We’re gonna be stronger, cause we’ve all been together since our first head coach left, and then we got more, so we’re still gonna be all together and be stronger."

Tuck may bring a slightly different style from his predecessor, says senior Jude Bartholomew.

"Coach Tuck is more of a father figure along with a coach. We can go to him with more."

Phillips thinks Tuck brings perhaps a more realistic approach.

"Coach Tuck is more patient with us, he knows this is gonna take time cause it’s a process."

Through it all, the team remains focused on the same goal, says Page.

"I think we have something to prove. I think that’s our biggest goal, to prove that we’re more than just 3-7."

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