Chuck Martinez-Brandon

There’s just so much going on in the world.

An upcoming holiday, the end of Ohio’s Mask Mandate and the end of a school year.

It’s definitely exciting times, but with all of this going on, anyone that knows me knows that my thoughts never stray too far away from one thing ... football.

It’s been one of my passions since I first strapped on that party hat for the first time. After years of playing and a couple decades on the sideline as a coach, I’d say the game is in my blood.

So when my alma mater Defiance High School named Travis Cooper its newest head coach, like any other gridiron fan in northwest Ohio I got anxious about the upcoming season. And when rumors started circulating about who Coop might bring on his staff to help him guide the Bulldogs, the buzz ramped up even more.

Of course the ‘ole ball coach in me got to thinking: “What if it was my program. And what if I could build the program and compile a coaching staff filled with the men that helped forge me as a person and my love for the game ... what if:

First off, if you could bring ex-head coaches on your staff, their experience in all things ball would be invaluable. So I’d start my staff with Bob Bauerle, Barry Parsons and Jerry Buti.

Our team would have three quality control coaches that wouldn’t miss a trick.

Every good team starts in the trenches and the same goes for this staff. With guys like Dan Nutter and Chuck Carey coaching the guys up front we’ll be nasty from tackle to tackle. Coach Carey’s advice of: “... don’t think just do it,” still resonates in my head 30 years later when the time for talking is over.

With the line set, I’m going to call on Gary Powell to get the offense and the quarterbacks up to speed.

The run-and-boot offense is a familiar sight to long-time Bulldog faithful and Powell may not have invented it, but he did perfect it during his time at DHS. Coach Powell is like a professor on the sideline, so who better to teach our group how to execute an offense.

Now, if nothing else, my team would be in shape. Why?

Because with Obie Mouser and Todd Fruth in charge of conditioning there would be no other choice.

Yes, Mouser did coach a little ball back in the day, but more importantly what he’s done with runners during his time at DHS speaks for itself. And as for Fruth, he always had a wealth of crazy conditioning drills that kept the Bulldogs in the mid-80s begging for a trip to the water trough.

But no matter how well prepared it might be, every team needs a great pep talk and for our team, David Mabee is the guy.

He was a coach, but Mabee was better know for his work with the DHS drama department and the Fort Defiance Players. So, who better to give that Knute Rockney-type barn burner of a speech to our guys than the thespian of our staff?

We’ll also have to get those younger Bulldogs ready to play under lights on Friday night.

So it’s the tag team of Bruce Hefflinger and George Moss to get it done at the junior high level? Add in George Ellison, Jeff Leatherman and Mike Ensign and those young pups will be ready to roll.

And our middle school program would be in the great hands of Pablo “Paul” Castillo. No one else could teach our fifth and sixth-graders more about the game and life than this man.

And with all of the great things these guys will be doing on the field we’d have to get it all documented.

So we’ll bring in Thomas Born and Jenny Derringer to capture the moments on film (hey, it’s an old-school staff so none of this digital stuff for us) and Jack Palmer to be our stat guy, historian and director of information.

So that’s it, it’s game time!

Turn on the lights and start the introductions Nate Marroquin.

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