Kwisz said he hopes running the football will again be a staple of the APA offense this season. Last year, the program had its first 1,000-yard rusher in Tony Gillespie, and Kwisz said that he looks for De’Andre Patterson to fill Gillespie’s shoes.
With a consistent ground game, the Anderson Prep coach said he thinks his team can better take control of games and not have to rely on single game-changing plays to produce wins.
“We want to be in control of the game and stay in control of the game,” Kwisz said. “We want to put our team in a position where we dictate what a defense does and with our defense, dictate what an offense does.
“This group, in my opinion, has unlimited potential.”
Unfortunately for Kwisz and his players, they can’t test that potential in the IHSAA Class A state tournament for another two seasons. After being on probationary terms in regards to postseason play after starting the program, Kwisz and his staff had issues with paperwork that set the team back another two years before they could compete in sectionals.
But Kwisz said that he and his players try to take the high road with the issue and set team-specific goals that make putting forth effort in practice and competing in games just as meaningful.
“It would be nice to be in the sectional tournament, but the reality of that is after the first week of sectionals, half the teams in the state aren’t playing that Friday anyways,” Kwisz said.
Some of the team goals Kwisz and his staff have instituted for this season include producing two 1,000-yard rushers, finishing the season above .500 and nominating a player on both sides of the ball for the All-State team.
Rather than having his players solely focused on the outcome of a game or two at the end of the season, Kwisz said he thinks having this mindset will keep his players better focused for the duration of the season.
“We’ve never taken the approach of crying over spilled milk and worrying about what we don’t have,” he said. “There’s plenty to play for other than sectionals.”