ROCHESTER — For seniors Jacob Lambert, Tyler Yarber and Tyler Gedney, they’ve seen this scenario at Rochester High School before: a new coaching staff.
Every year since the threesome – along with the Warriors’ four other seniors – have been in high school, the program’s coaching staff has changed; Eric Snelson and crew make it the fourth staff in four years.
The high turnover rate has taken its toll on the players, but they say they’re confident in the new staff.
“I truly believe them,” said Yarber, an all-league running back. “They’re good guys.”
“We already feel like we know more now than we did the previous years,” said Lambert, a linebacker. “It’s not like we’re lost. We know what we’re doing.”
Stability has been hard to come by since 2002 when then-coach Bob Wollan, now at W.F. West, bolted to Pullman and won a state title with the Greyhounds three years later in 2005.
Since his departure, Rochester has gone through six coaches, but Snelson, a longtime defensive coordinator for Jack Zilla at Black Hills, looks to put an end to the coaching carousel that has plagued the program.
Snelson brought in a coaching staff familiar to him from his Black Hills days, including Zilla (running backs/linebackers coach), Shane Dover (offensive coordinator) and Mike Gibbons (defensive line), to name a few.
With a turnout of 40 players, Snelson is already looking ahead with optimism to building the program’s turnout number to around the 60-player mark.
Snelson knows that might not be too far away, and success on the field will increase player turnout and generate interest from the student body, he said.
“There are some kids out there who are waiting to see how this goes,” Snelson said.Meg Wochnick: 360-754-5473 email@example.com theolympian.com/southsoundsports @MegWochnick