Arlee High School football coach Chuck Forgey is aware a productive 2018 season means nothing as his Warriors prepare to head into the 2019 season.
The Warriors, who lost to Fairview 32-20 in the quarter finals of last season’s Montana High School Association Class C 8-man football playoffs, may have gotten valuable experience for the existing members of that squad, but Forgey is focused on results for this season.
“I think it goes a long way to help them build a program, and it gets kids excited about stuff,” Forgey said. “I’ve been preaching (to the kids the last couple of days that it’s a new year, and nothing that happened last season matters anymore. We have to get ready for this season.”
The Warriors are entering the early portion of the season with a total of 19 kids on their 8-man squad. Before the Forgey era, Arlee finished second in 2015, and most recently lost the MHSA Class C 8-man quarter-final game to Fairview to conclude their 2019 season.
“Realistically, the number of participants is where I thought we would be entering the new year,” Forgey said. “We have a couple of classes, but we just don’t have a lot of boys in the classes. We have more boys than girls in recent high school classes.”
Forgey acknowledged in a couple of seasons he will have a sizable boys football class.
“There is a pretty good-sized class coming (in a couple of years), and I think the boy’s number is in the 50s, but that is two years away from the high school program,” Forgey said.
The Warriors will have three returning starters from the team that qualified for the quarter-finals of last year’s MHSA Class C, 8-man playoffs, and a fourth player Forgey labeled as a contributor.
“We aren’t near as experienced as we were last year,” Forgey said. “Last year, we had some pretty good leadership, but I think (this season) we are going to be fine (in that department).”
Though his team is inexperienced, Forgey stated he enjoys teaching kids the fundamental components of the game of football.
“I am probably like every other coach, and I enjoy teaching kids the game of football, and we have a good time, and fun time around the practice,” Forgey said. “We are spending a little bit of time on the fundamentals so far this fall, and the kids have (that are playing this year) played a lot of JV and varsity minutes during the third and fourth quarter because of how good our team was against other teams. Our younger kids got experience running the system, and got more reps.”
Forgey said he isn’t modifying his team’s expectations just because his team is young.
“Our expectations (for every game) is that we go out is to execute a game plan, and win every game,” Forgey said. “Our goal isn’t to place fifth, we want to get after every game. We expect them to come to practice and do what they are expected to do, and perform when they get some game time.”