In his second year as head coach for the Kokomo Wildkats, Richard Benberry is looking forward to working and growing with his team of underclassmen this season.
Roster numbers currently are up this year at 86-87, compared to last year’s ending numbers of 65-66. With several individuals being freshmen and sophomores, Benberry hopes to continue to build a better organization with his young players.
“We’re young. We’re young again. We were young last year,” Benberry said. “I started about five freshmen, and now those freshmen are sophomores. But there will be some other freshman that are key parts. So we are young. We got a new quarterback that just moved in, and we’ll see. We’re just young, inexperienced, but that experience from last year should help us this year for sure.”
Over the summer, the Wildkats have been preparing for the upcoming season not only by spending many days in the weight room but also by participating in team-building activities. Benberry has found that teaching his players life lessons is what’s really important. Every week, he puts words such as “accountability,” “leadership,” and “foundation,” on a board in the locker room, and as a team, they discuss what the word means to them and how they can bring that to their football brotherhood on the field.
With a 2018 record of 5-6, the team especially is preparing for its third game of the season against its biggest rival, the Marion Giants. The starting line-up positions have not been decided yet, but the coaches have a pretty good idea of who will be making solid appearances this season and at the scrimmage on Friday.
“I always believe in the ‘1 percent better’ no matter what you do,” Benberry said. “We’re here every day, and getting better every day is our goal. So, obviously, I would love for us to not start 0 and 5, but I don’t want to put a number to it, to our wins/losses and things like that. Just grow, grow together, grow as a team, and become a better organization day in and day out.”
The first snap of the season will be in the away scrimmage against the Zionsville Eagles this Friday, Aug. 16, at 7 p.m.