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The Student News Site of Gretna East High School

The Wingspan

The Student News Site of Gretna East High School

The Wingspan

Griffin coaches return from Tennessee with new plans for offense, defense

From+Feb.+8-10%2C+football+coaches+from+all+over+the+country%2C+including+the+varsity+Griffin+coaches%2C+attended+the+Glazier+Clinic+in+Tennessee.+The+conference+allowed+for+coaches+to+learn+from+different+programs+and+network+with+the+other+coaches.
Giles Guy-Williams
From Feb. 8-10, football coaches from all over the country, including the varsity Griffin coaches, attended the Glazier Clinic in Tennessee. The conference allowed for coaches to learn from different programs and network with the other coaches.

“The long stretch” is what football coaches call the time between the end of football and the beginning of summer workouts. As for the Griffin football team, the offseason will be a time to reload, revamp and reimagine their team. On Feb. 8, the school’s varsity coaches went to Nashville, Tennessee, to attend the Glazier Football Clinic to learn from high school and college coaches and to bring back new ideas on how to strengthen the Griffin offense and defense.
Head coach Justin Haberman was excited to get down there and come back to Gretna with new ideas on his mind for next season. He listened to Justin Montgomery, a defensive coordinator from Carrolton High School in Georgia, and found a scheme he’d been trying to fix for years.
“They run the same defensive scheme we do,” Haberman said. “He had some things where he was having trouble a couple of years ago with certain plays, and he had a nuance (problem) to the defense that I’ve been coaching this defense for 15 years and we’ve never thought of, and watching the film clips that they had, works perfectly into our scheme.”
The offensive coaches who made the trek were wide receivers coach Dana Janssen, offensive coordinator Shawn Blevins and quarterbacks coach Sean Mclaughlin. On the defensive side, coach Haberman went along with linebackers coach Chris Kelsay and defensive backs coach Matthew Shrader.
On top of changing up the defense, the offense looked to change the simple schemes. Janssen got to hear from Michigan wide receivers coach Ron Bellamy about certain routes they can add to the offense. Janssen benefited from listening to Bellamy and even went to talk to him personally, setting up a simple connection to learn from the best.
“Just like we expect the students to do, I sit in the front row,” Janssen said. “I sat there and I talked to him in between the first and second sessions about that cross route. Then during his next presentation, as it was showing on the screen, he stopped his whole presentation and talked directly to me about what was going on within that situation.”
After the sessions, all of the coaches had time to debrief at the end of each day while getting time to enjoy the city as well.
“Some of the best parts were getting together having dinner, chatting and talking and hanging out at once the clinic was over,” Haberman said. “It was just fun to get to see and hear some of the country music and stuff like that.”
Following the conference’s conclusion on Feb. 10, the coaches returned to Nebraska to regroup and share what they learned. With multiple sessions at one time, the coaches divided and conquered, bringing all their notes back to study.
In the meantime, the coaches made it a requirement that any football player who isn’t playing another spring sport already participate in track. The coaches want them to develop speed and agility, working towards these abilities in the offseason. They also make it a point to continue to condition.
“Pretty much I just lift by myself and lift with coach Haberman,” junior linebacker Luke Johnson said. “It consists of some seven on seven, footwork drills, just a lot of football skills and speed work.”
Attending these conferences will remain a staple for the team in the years to come. They hope to visit the Kansas City conference next year and continue this tradition in the years to come.

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About the Contributor
Brody Heidemann, Sports Editor
Brody Heidemann is a junior at Gretna East and this will be his second year on an online journalism staff. He was on the Gretna Media staff at Gretna High last year. This year he is the GEHS Wingspan's Sports Editor. As a sophomore, Brody won third place in Yearbook Sports Feature Writing and also fifth in Sports News Writing at the NSAA High School State Journalism championships for Class-A. Brody enjoys participating in journalism because he is interested in learning about other people and likes being social. His goal for this year is to stay productive and keep stories coming out. Outside of school, he enjoys playing video games, working at Hy-vee and hanging out with friends. 
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