In his first year as head football coach at Canton-Galva, Darrin Fisher, former Tabor College player and 2009 student assistant offensive line coach, will face three challenges this season: adjusting to life as a head coach, moving to the high school level and coaching 8-man football.
Fisher takes over an Eagle team that finished 4-5 overall and 1-1 in the Heart of America 8-man division.
Wanting to take a more personal approach to coaching, Fisher has focused on setting goals in the field and in the classroom.
“I like having things more on a personal level,” he said. “We have different goals, a lot more (of them) academic.
“We don’t put too much emphasis on wins and losses. We have certain goals we’re going to try to be successful at. We feel if we do those things, we’ll have a successful night.”
Fisher believes his coaching experience at Tabor will help him recognize good and bad elements in the Eagle program.
“We had a couple of rough seasons,” Fisher said about his college experience. “I learned what things to do, not to do, and how to triumph over adversity.”
Not having much experience with 8-man, Fisher is learning some of the nuances of the game.
“Eight-man is a lot faster pace, there’s a shorter field, and the numbers are a lot less,” he said.
In his first year, Fisher will have a junior-dominated squad. Five juniors will play key roles for the Eagles. Nick Vogts will start at quarterback.
On the offensive line, Kolby Moddelmog will get the nod at center and Tyler Miller at guard.
Tight end Codey Peavey and wide receiver Devon Stos will handle blocking and ball-catching duties.
In the backfield will be senior Micah Schlicht.
“We have a good core of juniors that I think will be significant,” Fisher said.
The same players also will fill out the defense. Moddelmog will anchor the defensive line at nose tackle. Peavey and Miller will play linebacker. Cornerbacks Stos and Schlicht and safety Vogts make up the secondary.
Remaining in the Heart of America League as the only 8-man school, Canton-Galva will have teams from outside its league.
Non-district, non-league opponents are Hutchinson Central Christian and Sunrise Christian Academy.
The Eagles will play in Division 1, District 8 and are picked to finish seventh. Little River is picked to finish first followed by Claflin, Goessel, Peabody-Burns, Lincoln, Solomon and Canton-Galva.
The Eagles kick off the season Sept. 3 at Hutchinson Central Christian.