BUILDING CULTURE: Botts looks to revamp Riders football in second season

May 30—Going into this offseason Hulbert football's head coach Chad Botts has a new game plan. One that includes strength, offense and most importantly, building a culture.

Despite the first game being still over three months away, things are looking a lot different for the Riders. Botts' second season has already seen some changes.

Both sides of the ball are getting a facelift with a new scheme, new offensive coordinator and spring camps all mark some changes for HHS.

"Year two we are going in with higher expectations," Botts said. "Last year was setting the tone on how you practice and prepare. We had a lot of challenges last year that we are able to overcome now. Just bringing a mindset that we need to take over here. Culture is everything it is the difference between winning and losing. We want to see us move up in skill this year."

During the spring the Riders went to Haskell for a joint camp, another change from last season. Over the course of the camp, the Riders worked on installing new offensive coordinator Logun Size's system. Coming over from Salina, Size is revamping the Riders' offensive approach.

Even though it was still early, the Riders made strides during their time at Haskell.

"With spring ball we were installing those systems," Botts said. "With our team camp, we were able to see what we were doing well and what we needed to work on. We were pleased with what we saw. We are ahead of where we were last year, there is a different feel and a different vibe."

The next step for the Riders will be Summer Pride workouts. On the surface, this step of the summer might seem like an insignificant phase, but for Botts, he views the workouts as the most important focus of the offseason.

This summer, Botts wants the Riders to get stronger and faster. Botts is confident in the talent within the Riders' system, but he sees a strong summer in the weight room is key for some wins.

"Our focus is getting bigger, faster, stronger," Botts said. "I feel like that is what is missing from our program. We have the talent and the personnel we just have to get them bigger and more physical in the weight room and the field. With that, it will change the culture that we have to us being more successful."

After summer pride kicks off, the Riders will go back to Haskell for seven-on-seven camps. This gives the Riders the chance to see how their offense is progressing. Right now the biggest challenge of learning a new offense is getting used to the positioning and vocabulary of the new offense.

The seven-on-seven drills will include no linemen, no pads and two hand touch football. Even though teams are not able to get physical it is a good jumping point for most teams.

"We are just excited to get started," Botts said. "We brought powerlifting to our program and had a good spring ball. We had a good team camp. We are just trying to get a real taste of what football really is."

Hulbert officially kicks off their season on Friday, Sept. 6 at Caney Valley. When the Riders hit the field, they will be looking to break a losing streak that dates back to 2018.

But with a new system under Botts' thumb, a more intense offseason training plan and a stronger team, the Riders could be poised to break that streak.

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