Updated Mon, Dec 2, 2013 11:36 pm
In Dave Kight’s first year as head coach, he improved the Meigs Marauders from two wins to 10.
When Kight arrived at Meigs High School, his first priority was to build a program centered on hard work and intensity. Now in his second year, the team looks to keep climbing up the TVC-Ohio standings.
The level of intensity in the Marauder’s gym during practice is evident from the moment it starts, with constant noise and fast-paced action as soon as the team emerges from the locker room. Kight demands a high-effort level from start-to-finish.
“I want things done my way,” said Kight. “We call it the Meigs way.”
Based on the attitude of his players, Kight’s high-octane style of coaching is starting to pay off.
Kight especially wants to see that hard work exhibited on defense. In fact, the team didn’t do any offensive drills for the first three days of practice. When asked about why he puts so much emphasis on defense he responded, “It was just the way that I was raised and the way I was coached, we do defense first . . . We do it first every night, and if I don’t get what I like, we don’t go to offense.”
This style of play leads to low-scoring games. The offense scored under 40 points eight times last season.
“I take full responsibility for that because I want the defensive end first and the offensive end can come later,” said Kight. “Everybody wants to play offense; winning teams want to play defense.”
With that being said, Kight expects the team to develop on offense throughout the year. He has seen a noticeable difference in the player’s grasp of his system this year compared to last.
“There wasn’t as much instruction going on this past summer as there was last summer, where I had to teach every drill every time we were in the gym,” said Kight. “I could send older kids down with the younger kids and kind of implement our system.”
The team has five seniors on the roster this year, with only two returning from last year. Junior Ty Phelps and sophomore Kaileb Sheets are also key for the squad. Sheets will look to take more of an active role with the team this year.
Not only is their leadership present in the upperclassmen, but Kight has also seen improvement in the younger players.
“We’ve got some younger kids stepping up,” said Kight. “We’ve got 10 freshman, eight sophomores, not counting Kalieb, so our numbers are pretty good right now. Last year they were learning how to win. Knowing how to win and learning how to win are two different things.”
This year, Kight is optimistic that they can become contenders in the TVC-Ohio and return to the Convo for the second year in a row.
“We’ve got some kids back this year that know how to win; hopefully that will carry us in those close games that we couldn’t quite pull out last year,” said Kight.
The Marauders have a tough season opener on Dec. 3 at Warren. The Warriors were able to beat Meigs 81-43 in the season opener last season. Kight and his Marauders have been working to start out this season on a different note.