ANDERSON — Anderson Preparatory Academy football coach Joe Kwisz had more than a tough task of creating a competitive team from scratch.
Sure, when Anderson Prep was established, he had a slew of fit teenagers interested in ROTC training to pick from, but playing high school football in Indiana takes more than just fitness.
After the team’s first varsity season where Kwisz’s squad amassed just a single win, the Jets improved to a .500 record but lacked the consistency of a truly developed team.
“We’ve really spent a lot of time this offseason becoming a better football team overall,” he said. “Last year, we were kinda at the mercy of some really good athletes that had breakout plays. We were kinda a big-play team last year. Our big focus this year is sustaining offensive drives, keeping the other team’s defense on the field, while giving our defense a break.”
Kwisz said often last season, his defense would stay on the field for long periods of time — sometimes even an entire quarter.
It’s been a long road before Kwisz and his staff felt like they were seeing consistent improvement over the past few seasons, but he said he thinks this season might be the year for APA.
“I feel like right now, we are better off than we finished the season last year,” he said. “Last year, about this time if you asked me ... I probably couldn’t tell you who half our starters were because no one really stood out, and nobody really was fitting into the mold.”
This offseason, Kwisz said he’s seen 30 or more kids at every conditioning session, a large increase from what he had seen in the past. He entered the Jets into a 7-on-7 tournament at Pendleton Heights, and they were able to hold their own against larger schools with more developed programs.