Coach Hetrick (A Layman’s Point of View)


Photo from Chuck Brooks via Flickr under Creative Commons License

Mr. Hetrick was appointed new head football coach, taking over for Coach Rackovan. Coach Hetrick has been a teacher in Central Bucks School District for 19 years and a football coach for just as long. At South, he teaches social studies.

Although he looks like a tough, disciplined football coach, and he is, at the center Coach Hetrick is a passionate, enthusiastic, and humble man.

I am no expert on football, and I have only known Mr. Hetrick in a classroom setting. To me, football and battles seem very similar, so it’s a good thing Mr. Hetrick is an expert in both. It only takes one meeting with him to realize he is the perfect person for the position of head coach.

The first time I met Mr. Hetrick was on the first day of junior year. While we all sat in first block, dazed by how fast summer had gone by, Mr. Hetrick introduced himself. He marveled at the beauty of American History and his passion oozed from him. He let us know what to expect in the class: we would have to work hard, but our effort would be worth it. He let us know what to expect from him, and that it would be a mutually respectful relationship. But what stuck with me most was when he said, “I will be myself, and we’re going with that.” This mantra continues from the Mr. Hetrick I know to the Coach Hetrick South football knows.

Our meeting about his new position began with him jokingly instructing me that football starts with “a round orange ball and a basket.”

That was a start to my knowledge of the game. Along with band, orchestra, and Titan Council, Football is among the largest of South’s organizations. In addition to around 140 athletes—from freshman to seniors—there are currently 11 assistant coaches, with more expected for the coming season.

As for the logistics of the game, Coach Hetrick explained a little bit to me. He hopes to continue running fast-paced offenses, which means running a play and then getting back in formation quickly, a contrast to what many high school teams do.

Don’t assume this upcoming season will mirror the last. Coach Hetrick recognizes that every year brings a new round of students to the forefront, students who have worked hard to improve in just a year and who realize that they have but ten games a season to shine.

Coach Hetrick says the best thing about being a high school coach is coming into contact with students in their formative years, when they are willing to absorb lessons and shape into the people they will become. He is honored that he is put in charge of such a large program, in such a great district, which he says is the “best ever.” He says he wouldn’t want to be a coach anywhere else.

More than the logistics, Coach Hetrick hopes to lead the team in a different way. From talking with him, it was clear he values the scope of his influence and wishes to make an impact through football on his players. Football, he says, “has many life lessons.” He says that as head coach, “You have a chance to build a vision to take the program.”