There are six new head coaches in Clark County high school football this season
Editor’s note – In a five-part series, Clark County Today reporter Paul Valencia takes a look this week at new football coaches at Columbia River, Heritage, King’s Way Christian, Mountain View and Seton Catholic high schools
The first week of high school football practice can be a challenge for all coaches, even the most experienced ones.
There is a lot to coordinate, after all.
For new head coaches, that first week is a milestone, even if it is a little crazy.
There are six new head coaches in Clark County this year. Two have been head coaches before, while four got their first experiences of being in charge when the whistles blew for the first time, officially, for football practice.
Oh, most of the coaches have been working with their new players during the offseason workouts, spring and summer drills. But last Wednesday was the first official day of football practice.
We visited all six new head coaches and their football programs last week. We also talked to a team leader from five of the schools. Here is an update on how things are going with the transitions at Columbia River, Heritage, King’s Way Christian, Mountain View, Seton Catholic and Union.
New coach: Kevin Peterson
Peterson is Heritage in so many ways. He has been a teacher there for decades, and spent a number of years as an assistant coach for the football program.
For whatever reason, though, he never felt like it was his time to be the top guy.
And now that he has taken over, one of his assistants said it was long overdue.
Kevin Peterson is, after all, all about Heritage.
“From my perspective, it feels like a fresh start,” Peterson said, and not just for him and the football team, but the school, too.
The campus has a new look after a remodel, a beautiful courtyard, a brand new weight training facility, and more.
“Athletics, to some degree, drives the school pride and overall sense of atmosphere,” Peterson said. “I feel like it’s turning a corner. This is as good as I’ve felt for athletics, in general, and school, in general, since back in the good, old days of the mid to late 2000s when we were competing and winning some things.”
Of course, there are challenges associated with being a head coach. Not all paperwork was filed just before the first practice for all of his coaches to be cleared. So there was a bit of a hiccup.
“Once the whistle blew to start practice, it went great,” Peterson said. “It went better than expected, to be honest. I like to be a by-the-clock-kind-of-guy. We didn’t quite stay on schedule, but everything else went perfect.”
Peterson’s style has already been noticed.
“There is so much more structure than last year,” senior Evan Buckman said. “Everything is running smoothly. Everything’s in place.”
The Timberwolves went to team camp over the summer, too. They didn’t do that last year.
“I feel we are so much more prepared,” Buckman said.
Heritage went 0-9 in 2022.
“Even through the ups and downs, I’ve always had fun,” Buckman said.
Now as a senior, he said it is his job to set an example for the younger players. He expects big things from the Timberwolves, from improvement this season and beyond.
“I feel like we’re on the rise,” Buckman said.
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