Countdown To Kickoff: Hedley Owls look to improve culture under new head coach

Countdown To Kickoff: Hedley Owls look to improve culture under new head coach
The Hedley Owls huddle up at the end of their Thursday night practice (Source: KFDA)

HEDLEY, Texas (KFDA) - The Hedley Owls are a young team filled with potential. They also have a new head coach with a plan to bring success back into the small town of Hedley.

“What I’m going to do to try and turn that around is simplify things,” new Hedley Head Coach Matthew Stasio said. “I know they’ve had pretty complex playbooks in the past. I’m simplifying.”

The new leader of the Owls football program though also wants to make sure the team’s culture is continuously improving.

“They stick together. When I was playing football, I was playing Semi-Pro up in Colorado, and a lot of times, when losing would happen, a lot of the players would turn on each other, but this team doesn’t do that. Even if somebody screws something up, they pick them up. They stick by each other,” Stasio said.

A hard working team in Hedley is trying to do their part in aiding their new head coach.

“There’s a lot of love. It’s a brotherhood here,” Hedley senior running back Jordan Upton said. “Football’s a lifestyle. We live for this. It’s tough. I’m going to miss it a lot. I play with my family here and a lot of us on the team are related and it means a lot to me, just playing with my family. You know, it’s a lot of fun.”

That fun Upton brought up is the other crucial aspect of having success this year.

“I mean, football is fun. It’s super important to have fun doing it. If you’re not having fun doing it, then what’s the point,” Stasio said.

It’s something Hedley’s sophomore quarterback is trying to focus on while learning the ropes of the game.

“I always dreamed of coming out here and playing quarterback for this team. I’ve been here all my life,” Hedley’s Joshua Buuth said. “I’ve been here all my life. It’s fun, and it’s a good experience. It feels amazing. It’s just like a dream come true. Everyone is out there cheering your name. It’s just fun, I love it, and I got two more years of it.”

The Owls start their season on the road this year on August 28 against Chillicothe.

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