In the 2014 season the team saw Ryan Spoonmore take the reigns after the resignation of Josh Buis and after a 3-7 season Spoonmore followed. That left the position open for Meyer who will start his sixth season atop the team. In his first six years he has a 19-32 record. In nine years of total coaching he has a 23-58 record.
“I’m really excited about being back,” Meyer said. “I’ve been teaching here for 11 years. I know the kids really well and I think it’s a great community. The administration has been outstanding and I love coaching football. It’s a great opportunity.”
Junior quarterback, Nick Costin, will be back as the potential starter for the second straight year, but his younger brother Alex, a freshman, is also fighting for the position. The two look almost identical on the field and the competition should help both players. Freshman Abe Wade is also buying for some playing time at the position and with a big, muscular body he could help in running situations.
“After today (purple and gray scrimmage) I felt really good,” Meyer said. “I thought he threw the ball well. He’s established himself as a leader. To me the big key is that he’s matured. He’s a junior, so we’ve got a lot of room for improvement, but I thought he had a nice day today.”
“Alex (Costin) is a freshman,” Meyer said about the remaining quarterbacks. “He has some good skills, but we can’t forget that Abe Wade is in the middle of that. I think we have some good competition at the quarterback position and they all did some nice things today. That’s a nice problem to have.”
Size is luxury for quarterbacks to have in their wide receivers and Greencastle has no shortage of that. The team has multiple receivers that are over six foot tall that will help make high-arching passes down the sideline easier to make.
“That helps a big deal,” Meyer said. “When they line up against short corners that’s a big difference. That gives us a huge advantage and we just got to keep working on that.”
Protecting the quarterback and opening lanes for ball carriers might be a concern for the Tiger Cubs early in the season. The right side of the offensive line had problems blocking during the annual purple and gray scrimmage, but with time to gel they will be just fine. The left side had significant gains during the scrimmage as did the whole team.
Defensively, not much could be seen from the annual scrimmage. You have to remember that inter-squad scrimmages are split up between players, so you might have a teams of 1’s playing a team of 2’s. In reality it’s all about fundamentals, but time will tell.
“Today’s defense (purple and gray scrimmage) was a pretty vanilla defense,” Meyer said. “We didn’t do a whole lot. We’ll continue to improve on that this week. We’re going to line up against Southmont this week and that’s going to be much different than what we’ve been seeing right now. We’ll start to turn it up on defense and I think the kids will come around. I feel pretty good about where we are right now.”
Overall, I think the team will have some growing pains, but they are young. Young teams always have growing pains and it usually helps in the long run. Competition will only help them get better and with the new Western Indiana Conference alignment premiering this year they will have plenty of it.
To prove that this team will be okay, Coach Meyer was hired late and had to hire a new coaching staff. With that comes a loss of time for workouts and weight lifting. Meyer praised his team on how far they have come since the beginning.
“We’ve come a long way,” Meyer said. “It was kind of a rough summer. Obviously, taking over it took me most of the summer to get all of the coaches hired. Some of the things administratively and leadership wise I had to put on the kids quickly and they picked up on it. To be honest I thought it was a very good summer; better than what I thought it was going to be.”
The team opens up at home against North Putnam on Aug. 21 at 7:30 p.m. The team is ready for the challenge and it is even more special because it is against a county rival.
“Always excited (about the opener),” Meyer said. “It’s our home opener and it’s a county rival down the road. Coach Barrett (North Putnam) is going to have them coached up. “
Other important county games are Aug. 28 at Cloverdale and Sept. 11 at South Putnam. On Oct. 16 the crossover game will be held. The conference is aligned into two divisions and each team will play against their own seed in the opposite division. This will determine who the regular season conference champion is.
“I like the schedule,” Meyer said. “I like the new conference. It adds a lot of enthusiasm and excitement with all of the new schools. We’re looking forward to being competitive.”