NORTHAMPTON, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - The Northampton High School football team has added a few things to their game this year.
With a new offensive coordinator, nearly double the number of players added to the roster, and a little off-the-field work, the Blue Devils are seeing progress.
“I think, as a unit, we’ve steadily been increasing and increasing each week,” Northampton senior Jake Diggins tells us.
A big part of the teams’ growth is the leader himself, Head Coach Joe Kocot.
Kocot, who has coached the game for more than twenty years, tells Western Mass News he holds his team to a higher standard.
“6-5 last year. People said it was a good year. I didn’t think it was and they started to get that. Some people want to take that as an idea of success. That’s fine, but that’s not my idea of success," stated Coach Kocot.
Coach Kocot’s idea of success is taking the time outside of practice to go over film with his players.
Senior Jack Diggins says it’s eye-opening to not only hear his coach pointing out mistakes, but to visually see them as well.
“You’ll see it in film, you’ll go over what you did wrong, and plan for what they’re doing well and how you need to adapt to it," says Diggins.
And every Monday. Coach Kocot gets everyone into a classroom to watch film, individually breaking down the adjustments they need to make.
“It’s a group effort and we all want to come to a consensus on that’s what the issue was and we never talk about why we won. It’s in the books," continued Coach Koncot.
And while most players usually like to watch highlights of themselves, this team of players tries to avoid screen time because…
“I’m just brutally honest," said Coach Kocot.
Coach Kocot credits the players on their maturity, being able to have fun, and enjoying everything about Blue Devil football while also accepting constructive criticism to become better.
“If me and the coaches didn’t do it this way, I feel I was jipping someone and that’s what they hired me to do, and I want to do the best job possible," added Coach Kocot.