Aug. 26—Ada head coach Brad O'Steen said "Staying the Course", the theme for the 2023 Ada News Football Special, couldn't have fit the Cougar football program any better.
The upperclassmen have now had two years to learn the course and system O'Steen has implemented and from this year on, players should be focused on Staying the Course."
"In my mind, that means buying into the program. Trust the program. Trust the system. Stay the course and keep developing," O'Steen told The Ada News.
Staying the Course doesn't just happen when the preseason opens and ends with the last football game of the year. O'Steen said he expects players to Stay the Course year-round.
"We have 32 workouts during the summer. When I was growing up as a family, we planned our vacations around summer pride. You need to be there. You can't work hard for four weeks and then take two or three weeks off. Now you've gone backward," he explained. "We tell the kids every day, you can either get better or get worse. You never stay the same."
It's all part of Staying the Course.
Grumbling about playing time instead of working harder to get better can get a player off course quickly O'Steen said.
"Just because you're not starting now or getting enough playing time as a sophomore, stay the course and develop yourself. That's something these kids and parents need to understand — a football program develops kids year in and year out," he said.
In an ideal situation, the veteran head coach said very few sophomores should have to play on the varsity level, especially at a school the size of Ada.
"We had to play a lot of sophomores and a lot of freshmen last year. (Today's) younger kids can't say so and so played as a freshman or a sophomore, I should be playing — that type of deal," O'Steen said ."Just stay the course, buy into the program and show up every day and go to work and give us your best."
If everyone — coaches and players alike — do their part to Stay the Course, the results show up on Friday nights.
"Staying the Course really, really sums up our program," O'Steen said.