As the Vienna-Goreville Eagles football team enters its second decade of existence, there is a strong emphasis on finding someone to build a program top to bottom for the Eagles.
Vienna-Goreville is searching for its third-ever head coach after the recent resignation/retirement of Mike Rude, who led the program to back-to-back playoff berths in 2012-13. However, the Eagles have won just eight games in the five seasons since then.
“We obviously need someone in here that’s got the energy to put into developing all different levels of the program, not just the high school level,” said Vienna High School athletic director David Hill. “We’re at such a disadvantage because we don’t have a whole lot of parents that were football players, especially the ones that are from around here.
“I’d say in most cases — probably two-thirds of our students — and their parents went to school here and had no recollection of high school football because we didn’t have it here. We’ve only had it for the last 10-12 years.”
Hill is also wanting a coach that is able to bring the schools’ best athletes onto the football team.
“We need someone that’s willing to get into the grade schools and get into both high schools and make sure that we have all the kids who are walking the halls that should be out (for football) out,” Hill said. “Someone that can be available during the summertime and during the offseason.”
One item that has proven to be a challenge for Eagles’ football is building a successful weightlifting program.
“We’ve had very little success with our weight program,” Hill said. “That’s one of the things we’re looking at restructuring the class scheduling around here to get those kids where they have some time during the day (to lift).”
Magnifying that challenge is the fact that many of Vienna’s and Goreville’s athletes play two or more sports.
“Football offseason for our kids is basketball season for a lot of them,” Hill said, “or baseball season for a lot of them — or track or golf, or they’re involved in a lot of other things. The summertime’s kind of the same way.”
Hill is not concerned with what type of offense (be it run-oriented, pass-oriented or balanced) or defense that the new coach plans to bring in.
“You have to work with the pieces that you’re dealt,” Hill said. “I can want to have a basketball team that throws the ball inside, but if you don’t have a kid that’s over 5-foot, 3-inches tall, it’s [hard] to develop much of a post presence.”
Hill said that the school hopes to have a new coach in place by March. The 2019 high school football season kicks off at the end of August.