The Record, Stockton, Calif.
MOUNTAIN HOUSE — Jabari Carr is still trying to establish a winning structure within the Mountain House football program.
To assist in that effort, Carr took an out-of-the-box approach to help instill those qualities into his players. For the Mustangs’ Thursday afternoon practice, Carr brought in three active duty U.S. Army sergeants to push his players through a boot camp-style workout.
“Being a part of any branch of the military, it takes a lot of sacrifice and it is also a unit. You hear it all the time, no man left behind,” Carr said. “We want the same philosophy and structure for our team. I think it will be definitely good to get them out here today.”
Throughout the practice the Army sergeants went through numerous high-intensive interval training drills that the Army uses on a regular basis.
“Part of the reason I like doing this job, I like working in the community. I want to improve the community,” 16-year Army veteran Staff Sgt. Kory Stachowski said. “Coming out and doing something like this, coming out and showing these young men some leadership stuff, how to work hard and push through a little bit of pain. How to work for a team I think is paramount for success in anything you do in your life. Being able to come out here and do this with these guys is something that I really enjoy.”
Going into Thursday’s practice, sophomore Orlando Syph-Timmons knew exactly what he and his teammates should expect.
“I knew it was going to be hard work because people in the military work their hardest to get where they are,” he said.
Syph-Timmons’ father served in the U.S. Coast Guard, and he is one of many players on the Mountain House football team with a military background in his family.
Sophomore Roy Gardner, whose father also served in the Coast Guard, said whenever he got in trouble as a child, his parents would make in run or do minute-long planks as punishment.
He also understood what a military-style work ethic could do to a team.
“! hope we learn to never quit, play through the whistle and finish until the end,” Gardner said.
Senior wide receiver Anthony Donaville, whose father joined the Army in August 2000, and has 17 years of service with four years of active duty on his resume, would go through many of the same exercises the Mustangs experienced Thursday with his father.
Said Donaville: “What my team and I learned from our experience today is that nothing comes easy without hard work being put into action.”
Carr, who attended Hargrave Military Academy in Chatham, Virginia, out of high school and whose father spent nine years in the Army, took over the Mustangs this summer when Jason McCloskey stepped down after six season as head coach.
In Carr’s vision of the what his football program should look like, being involved in the community and keeping Mountain House a tight-knit group is at the forefront. Bringing in military personnel, who’s job is to protect the same community was a no-brainer.
“I think that our coaching staff and our school do a good job,” he said. “But I always like for (the players) to see something new. Somebody who is, really, an American hero. Someone who has been on the front line. I think that would be good for them to see. That’s what we really want to get out of today. For them to understand commitment. Getting through the hard things.”
Carr also hoped his team grasped the meaning of unity and getting through tough situations as a team. Those qualities could help the Mustangs this season as they look to rebound off of a 1-9 record in McCloskey’s final season.
“As you build you want to have some of those building concrete blocks really early in our program. I felt like the last coaching staff’s tenure had some of those building blocks,” Carr said. “We would be foolish if we don’t extend off of that.”
The Mustangs are scheduled to open their schedule at Chavez on Jan. 8, and hope Thursday’s practice can be an experience they can draw on during the grind of a high school season.
“When you want to create something special, its understanding how to be together,” Carr said. “You see so many programs where people aren’t together, and those things always crumble.
“We want to have a legacy here at Mountain House.”
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