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‘Stability’ key to CBFO feeder emphasis to FHS

The “rebirth” of CBFO Football, from its youngest levels, seeks to greatly improve cooperation among coaches of “same aged” teams, thus enhancing player development and providing more playing time for those lesser skilled.

And by combining its Sr. Midgets (13-14 year olds) into one team, CBFO brass hope to better serve Farragut High School, being its primary feeder program.

Joel Farmer, new Sr. Midgets head coach for the foreseeable future (coaches no longer automatically rotate into Sr. Midgets level), said “stability” at the head coaching position will give FHS head coach Eddie Courtney “a more consistent delivery of young men” into Admirals freshmen football. “That we don't lose eighth-graders to other schools.

“We want to have one team for all the eighth-graders so we can practice them all together ... we want to deliver to coach Courtney players that have the right technique, know how to play properly,” Farmer added.

“What we're trying to do with the eighth-grade team is we're trying to make it a little better transition into coach Courtney's ninth-grade high school program … we'll learn the Farragut offense and the Farragut defense.

“And it's a better experience for them all.”

Farmer said rival CBFO coaches were “competing in the neighborhood [for players, saying], 'Oh, he needs to play on our team,' so you don't get proper skill placement.”

Moreover, “You're not practicing together ... you're not growing as a team together,” he added.

While all other CBFO age levels will continue to field multiple teams, Farmer said coaches with teams in the 10-year-old age group, for example, “are going to work together to get proper skill placement, not against each other recruiting players. No more [intra-CBFO] rivalries.”

Courtney, Farmer said, “has offered up his staff to help teach.”

Courtney said he and certain assistant coaches “will sit down and watch film with them during the off-season. … share ideas … talk about X's and O's, about motivation, about use of fields.

“It's a communication thing that we've lacked ... but it’s not the fault of any one person,” Courtney added.

Eric Dye, a CBFO Football head coach, also is one of six members of a newly formed CBFO Football committee along with Farmer, football commissioner Todd Hazelwood, Todd Armstrong, Doug Mooney and Mike Gillette.

“We finally have a link to the program we want to be with, and that's Farragut football,” Dye said.

As his assistant coaches, Farmer said he'll utilize “ex-Farragut players … that are going to be part of the staff. We hope to have seven coaches besides myself.”

Farmer said the CBFO coaching rotation would continue up to Sr. Midgets level, where, “more than likely, we'll have one or two assistant positions [open] every year.”

Newly added to the CBFO Jr. Midgets (12) and Sr. Midgets list of opportunities — offered on a voluntary basis — are twice-weekly speed, strength and conditioning workouts led by Chris Carson, FHS strength-conditioning coach. That begins in January.

“It's a structured program” with timing and monitoring 40-yard dash times and weight training levels “to see how they've improved,” Farmer said, adding the cost “is very, very parent-friendly” and having Carson “is quality stuff.”

Beginning next summer is a 7-on-7 youth passing league similar to Knox area high school leagues.

Also added annually each December is “a mini-camp for ninth-graders to be and eighth-graders-to-be [for 2010-11 school year],” Farmer said.

One ongoing relationship between FHS and CBFO has been Courtney's annual summer camp.

“We still welcome young men from anywhere in the area,” Farmer said of those who may feed into another high school program. “Our objective is, we want to have such a quality program … that nobody has a reason to ever leave Farragut.”

Farmer said strong parent feedback has supported the changes.

With 375 CBFO football youth playing on 17 teams in 2009, Farmer said there’s a “huge demand” for 5- and 6-year-old flag teams, a program revived from earlier this decade.

Moreover, “If there's a mom in the community that wants to step up, we're willing to start the cheerleading program again,” Farmer said. “Somebody's going to have to step up and sponsor it.”


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