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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / High School Football Spotlight: Tony Hurps Head Coach, Berne Union

High School Football Spotlight: Tony Hurps Head Coach, Berne Union

In the Spotlight!
Publish Date: 02/06/2021
Fact checked by: Mike Goodpaster

1- You guys had a pretty good season in 2020. What must happen for the Rockets to be able to beat teams like Trimble?

I think it comes down to two things. First, we need to continue to have great commitment from our current players when it comes to the off-season and strength & conditioning. It is my belief that if you want to excel in high school sports, the weight room needs to be a year-round part of your schedule. Second, it is a numbers game, and that is especially true for small schools. If we can be consistently around forty players, we will be tough to beat.

It is very difficult to have efficient practices with low numbers, and it is difficult for players when we ask them to learn 2 or 3 different positions to try and create depth. It is also unfair to those freshmen to be forced into playing a varsity game if they are not ready mentally and physically.


2- As a coach what are you looking most forward to heading into the 2021 season?

I’m looking forward to getting back to normal and hopefully seeing Covid-19 disappear or at least neutralized to a certain extent. I can’t wait to see how our offense grows off of last year. We have several key players returning and this will be everyone’s second season with me running the offense. We have some wrinkles that we weren’t able to get in that will give us some answers to what teams started to do.


3- As someone who was such an outstanding player has this helped you as far as becoming a good coach?

I think it does help. I think it commands a certain level of respect initially, and then it’s on me as a coach to bring them the rest of the way.


4- What is your biggest enjoyment from coaching?

The best thing for me is developing people. Obviously, we develop players, but in addition to seeing them grow as athletes, I love seeing them grow as individuals and mature into successful adults after they are done with football.


5- How do you think competitive balance has affected Ohio high school football?

I think it is hit or miss. People are always going to try to gain an advantage, but we don’t really worry about it and just go out and play. I recruit the heck out of our hallways, and that is what I care about most.


6- What are your thought on playing out-of-state opponents?

I think extended trips and the potential to play teams you normally don’t are a good thing to a certain extent. I don’t ever see us doing it, because of the cost. I do try and give our team some sort of experience away from school over the summer.


7- Where do you think the state finals should be held?

I am partial to Ohio State. It is such a unique experience to play in the “Shoe” and the parking and overall experience for the fans is much better in my opinion. I do however love the Canton/Massillon facilities as well. If we could keep them on a two year rotation or something similar would be my choice.


8- What made you want to get into coaching?

After I got injured in college, the realization that my career was not extending past college became evident. I knew that I wanted to stay around the game in some capacity, and becoming a teacher and a coach seemed like the right fit for me.


9- What are your thoughts on Thursday Night Games?

I love the opportunity given to the players to play in a game where they can display their talents for the majority of the area to see. Our Thursday Night Lights is really well done. We had an opportunity to participate in it when I was at Fisher Catholic and our players really enjoyed the experience.


10- As a player or coach what is the most memorable moment?

That’s a tough question. As a player, there are so many great moments I had on the field I could name, but to me, it is all of the experiences and stories that come from spending time with my teammates at practice, the locker room, and during the off-season. As a coach, it is being able to lead players and a team to enjoy those same great experiences.


Berne Union High School

Head Football Coach

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