Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local Sports

August 10, 2012

Goad eager for senior Bulldog season

TAZEWELL, Va. — Glenn Catron, Randy Sparks, Bobby Wyatt, Terry Smith, Brandon Tate, Shane Allen, spread, Wing-T, option, Power-I.

Those are not classmates and choices starting the year with Tazewell senior lineman Nick Goad — it is the coaching roster and different offenses he’s played for over the past six seasons beginning with the Chiefs in Little League.

As a senior, Goad is playing for the fourth head coach he has had as a Bulldog and admits all the changing coaches have resulted in an unusual journey.

“It has been difficult at times. You learn, or try to learn the best you can, a new system every year,” Goad said. “Terminology changes and the expectations for certain things are different, so you have to keep adjusting all the time.

“Still, football comes down to fundamentals like we all know and those are blocking and tackling, those kinds of things. If you get them right you are going to be OK.”

He likes his new coach, Shane Allen, which is a positive right from the start.

“Coach Allen knows his football — that’s the main thing,” notes Goad. “He works hard and makes us work hard. He makes no excuses and doesn’t want to hear any.

“It’s a good feeling to have somebody who wants you to be your best out there. All of our coaches are working to make us better.”

The Bulldogs have nowhere to go but up. After an 0-10 season in 2011, a 1-9 record the year before, and no victories since a win over Marion almost two years ago, the Tazewell players are eager to turn things around.

“My first goal is to do anything and everything I can to make us better,” notes Goad. “I want whatever I do to benefit the team. As a senior, somebody with some playing experience, I try to talk a little with the younger players, maybe point out something that will help them.

“On the field, I have to do the right thing and not make mistakes.”

The 6-foot, 224-pound Goad is likely going to open at center on offense in the Wing-T that Allen has installed for the Bulldogs. He will take a spot on the defensive line when Tazewell does not have the ball.

It will mean a lot of playing time but that is fine with him. Goad knows that several of his teammates will be playing both offense and defense as the youthful Dogs — who have 25 freshmen among the 54 players on the roster — scramble to gain experience as the season goes along.

“I love it — being on the field for most of the plays. If Coach would let me, I would be out there for every play all season long,” Goad said. “We have worked very hard as a team this summer to condition ourselves to play a lot. We’ll be ready.”

Allen, who has coached for 13 years at perennial playoff contender Carroll County — who do appear on the Bulldogs’ schedule — likes what he has seen from Goad so far.

“I told our team that this is one of the most physically gifted teams I have been a part of, and it is up to us to develop,” Allen said. “Nick is certainly one of our leaders and we look to him to fill an important role.

“He is a hard worker, he didn’t miss any days this summer and although he has battled the heat in early August, he has kept a positive attitude both for himself and the team. He is always encouraging his teammates.

“From what I have seen, Nick is athletic enough to go outside if he has to and strong enough to get the job done on the interior. We will be asking him to do a lot for us in 2012. It’s an opportunity to step up and I think he will do that.”

Goad is anxious to accept the responsibility.

“As a center, I know I have to check the defense and recognize what type of front we are up against so I can signal to our offensive linemen what we need to do in our blocking scheme,” he said. “I have to work with the quarterback — the Bulldogs have used both Malik Davis and Cody McCann in early-season drills — and become familiar with his style when we have the ball.

“It’s important to have a successful exchange of the ball to run our plays. I’ve worked hard on that.”

Of his defensive duties, Goad says, “The number one job will be to stop the run. On our defense, every play has a specific assignment. We have to get our area taken care of. I want to make sure I do my work on every play.”

Line coach Shea Moore observes, “Nick is a good kid on and off the field. He is a ‘yes sir, no sir’ kind of player who is always trying to get better. He asks questions, wants to know if what he is doing is what the coaches are expecting.

“The other players respect him. He doesn’t talk a lot but when he does, his teammates listen. He just wants us to play our best. His leadership is one of his strong suits for us.”

Goad says he is really looking forward to his senior season.

“I want to play well and I want all my teammates to have good seasons. It will take all of us playing the right way to have a good year,” Goad said. “My main goal is to win games. I want to be in the playoffs.

“Once we get there, then I want to keep winning. We have some good fans. They have supported us, and all the players appreciate it. We need our fans. They mean a lot to us and we want to give them something to cheer about.”

Tazewell will play Pike View and Central (Wise, Va.) at 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. respectively, on Saturday, at Concord University and then plays at Chilhowie in the final scrimmage at 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 17 before the regular season starts at George Wythe on Aug. 24.

Nick Goad, his coach, and his teammates have worked hard to become a unit and they can’t wait for the family time to begin.

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