Recruiting success brings challenges, too

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN DON RATZLAFF
The impact of Tabor?s recruiting success promises myriad blessings for

the college?s football program, but also raises more than a few

challenges for Coach Tim McCarty and his staff.



Heading the list is logistical concerns. By late August, coaches will

need to accommodate 80 to 90 players in a program outfitted for far

fewer.



The team dressing room, for example, has only 70 available lockers on

the home side.



?We may have to commandeer the other half, but that means visiting

teams can?t use (the facility),? McCarty said. ?We?re working on that

one.?



The team also fell far short in uniforms, helmets and pads.



Given the situation, the college?s administration?McCarty in

particular credits Judy Hiebert, who oversees the athletic

program?agreed to purchase all new Nike uniforms for the team. The

deal was made early to take advantage of a major price discount.



McCarty originally got permission to order 65 uniforms. But with more

signees coming in, the number was soon increased to 80. Recently, he

put in an order for 10 more.



?Those new uniforms were really huge for us (in recruiting),? McCarty

said.



The uniforms, complete with a different logo on the helmet, will give

the Bluejays a whole new look this fall, McCarty said.



Beyond logistics, the influx of new players will radically alter the

situation for his returning players?mostly for the better, in the long

run.



?Last year, we had 18 freshmen starting games,? McCarty said. ?Some of

those guys will lose their positions this fall to other freshmen.?



Increased competition will be good for the players, the team, and the

coaches.



?We don?t want anyone to be complacent and feel they have a job,?

McCarty said. ?I don?t want to add pressure, but I want them to

compete with a sound mind at all times.?



The increased number of athletes will help team morale and discipline,

too, McCarty believes.



?One thing you gain in a program when you have depth of numbers is

really just one word: leverage,? he said. ?At this level, the leverage

is that these kids want to play. You don?t have to hang your hat on

one guy if that guy isn?t sticking with the program.?



McCarty said he and his staff see 87 as the optimum number of players

for their program. That gives them the depth they want, but also

ensures that each player will receive adequate attention from the

coach and a chance to contribute on the field.



?We feel if they?re getting those two things, they?re happy,? McCarty

said.



He knows it will be impossible to keep all his players happy, though.

?Obviously, we?re not going to keep everybody,? he said. ?Any time you

get those kinds of numbers, you?re going to be doubling the players

you lose.



?But regardless what we do, we?re going to recruit to keep a

consistent 80-plus players in the program. We r

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