New Jackson coach excited about upcoming season | Football
Last updated 7/19/2019 at Noon
The Jackson football team is off to a solid start under new head coach Mason Siddick.
The Timberwolves wrapped up their spring/summer practices at the King’s camp in late June with a focus on strength and conditioning the rest of the summer.
“Obviously when you’re taking over a new program things move at a little bit slower pace when you’re establishing a new culture, a new way of practicing, a new playbook and new offense and defense,” said Siddick, who was an assistant coach at Inglemoor and Snohomish high schools. Siddick also coached at Carroll College, a NAIA school located in Helena, Montana, where he also played football.
“We got our base stuff installed,” the new Jackson coach said. “I think, as a coaching staff, we were pleased with how we ended camp.”
The Timberwolves averaged about 60 players throughout the offseason, though some were busy with other sports, such as baseball.
The Wolfpack offense will have a new leader in the fall with the graduation of quarterback Ben Olesen. Five players are vying to succeed Olesen Justin Vickery, Kenan Quill, Nathan Clark, Peter Olesen (Ben’s younger brother) and Dominic Hellman
The battle is expected to continue throughout the first two weeks of practice.
“I think we won’t name our starting quarterback until we wrap up two-a-days,” Siddick said. “We’ll give the guys one last chance to compete for that spot. It’s still an on-going competition. It’s a very important competition. We don’t want to rush into that decision. We’re going to give guys the opportunity to showcase their abilities.”
Siddick and his staff are looking for a quarterback who is a leader all the time, both on and off the field. The starter has to know the offense and everyone’s role in it.
“He has to take care of the football,” Siddick added. “There’s a lot that goes into it. We’ll take the person that gives us the best chance to win Our goal is to go into the season with a clear-cut starter in mind.”
Jackson will be running a spread offense with a power run game. Siddick describes his approach as a blend of new and old school football.
“We play smash-mouth football,” he said. “We believe in hard hitting play. We want to be able to control the tempo of the game with our offense. Being able to control the football means we’re making smart decisions. We’ll utilize the run to set up the pass.”
Siddick added that the offense also will mix in some drop back and straight pass plays.
Like the quarterback position, three or four players are competing at running back.
The Timberwolves’ offensive line likely will be young with only two seniors projected as starters. The line made some definite progress at the King’s camp but still has more to learn.
Siddick said that the hardest part about installing a new offense is the mental part. After the King’s camp, the linemen were not having to do as much thinking and understood who they needed to be blocking.
“There’s a lot of work and development to get them exactly where we want to be,” Siddick said. “They’re hungry.”
Jackson will be running a 4-3 defense with decent size in the interior. Siddick is still determining who is best suited to be on the outside.
“We’re still trying to figure out who our edge people are,” he said. “We’d love to be to bring pressure not just through blitzes.”