New Cannon County head football coach Joel Schrenk is busy making preparations for the upcoming season.
New Cannon County head football coach Joel Schrenk finds himself in a similar situation to that of Barack Obama when he became president. Just as the economy was in need of a boost and fresh leadership when Obama took office, the Lions football program needs a stimulus of its own.
However, rebuilding the Lions will take a lot of effort — and time.
"Our numbers are low," Schrenk explained. "More students will have to get involved with the football program."
Four coaches — Schrenk and three assistants — are teaching classes this year, which affords them ample opportunity to build rapport with students.
The Lion's offensive strategy is open and engaging, and coaches are trying to make practices as enjoyable as possible as the team weathers heat, humidity and rain during preseason practice.
Schrenk said he wants more students to be enthusiastic about football -- even those not yet attending CCHS. Earlier this summer the Athletic Department held a Lions Pride Camp for area elementary school children. A wide range of ages attended the camp.
Schrenk, who comes to CCHS after spending the last two seasons at Clarksville Northwest, began looking for another head coaching position when he continued to find his previous school's administration lacking in support.
"At one point I had 58 kids in the weight room and I was the only coach."
Frustrated by a lack of response to his concerns, Schrenk began applying to other schools. His resume, documenting 11 years experience as assistant coach and two as head coach, found it's way to Tim Knox (then CCHS Athletic Director and now principal), who assured him that things would be different in Cannon County.
Other moves were considered, but ultimately Knox, CCHS, and the area's small-town appeal won Schrenk and his wife Donna over. The decision to move to Woodbury was made just two days after their daughter's marriage in April. Both of the Schrenk's children continue to live in Alabama attending school and raising children.
Under Coach Schrenk's leadership, Clarksville Northwest's football program went from a being a laughingstock to playing competitively. While the situation in Cannon County is certainly not as dire (The Lions finished last season 4-6), Schrenk stresses that he wants to lead a competitive program.
"To do that, we need a supportive community, supportive administration, and competent athletes," he said.
The Lions have scrimmages on August 8th at 6:00 at White County High School and on August 11th at 6:00 at home vs. Shelbyville High School.
The regular season opens at CCHS on August 21st against Spring Hill.
Cannon County competes in Region 4, Class 2A along with Jackson County (Gainesboro), Smith County (Carthage), Upperman (Baxter), Westmoreland and York Institute (Jamestown).