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home : sports : sports   April 29, 2016

12/5/2013 11:39:00 AM
Football Coach of the Year

Brandon LaChance
NewsTribune Sports Writer

The Hall football program had become synonymous for bad football.

The Red Devils managed just nine wins from 2009-12.

A playoff game hadn’t happened for Hall since the 2008 season and the last two years had ended with 1-8 records, including coach Randy Tieman’s first year at the helm in 2012.

In his second season, he turned the losing stigma upside down and led the Red Devils to a 7-4 record, a playoff berth, a win in the first round at Bismarck-Henning and a second round game at home against Momence.

“Last year was his first year at the varsity level,” senior linemen Nathan Tonozzi said. “I mean, there were definitely some transitions that needed to be made and this year he had a year of experience, which really helped him. He had a lot of new schemes defensively and offensively that really fit us. The experience did wonders for us this year.”

Not only did Tieman bring in new ideas to open up the playbook, but Tonozzi — a member of the 2013 NewsTribune All-Area Team at defensive line — gave credit to his coach for making the team become more serious about football.

“He was definitely more engaged and we had a more strenuous lifting/conditioning program because he was here longer and he gathered more information,” Tonozzi said. “He did a lot more in the offseason to prepare us coming into this year.”

Tieman also stopped the team from goofing off in practice to better themselves for game day.

The serious-minded coach also demanded his team to take the weight room as no laughing matter.

“He made (lifting) mandatory because last year it wasn’t and no one was showing up at all,” 2013 NewsTribune All-Area offensive lineman Trevor Urbanski said. “We weren’t that physical last year — and this year since it was mandatory — we got stronger. We were also a lot more physical this year.”

For turning the Hall football program around, Tieman is the 2013 NewsTribune Football Coach of the Year.

 “I think the kids this year, especially the seniors, bought into what we were trying to accomplish,” Tieman said. “We wanted to get better each week and I think that happened. They bought into what we wanted to teach and they learned it.

“We wanted to be more disciplined. We wanted to cut down turnovers and penalties, and we did that for the most part. We wanted to play solid defense and our defense got better each week. We wanted them to play good, hard-nosed football and be physical — that was one thing I really emphasized — was being physical, going out and hitting people.”

After a 2-3 start, he made the team well aware that each week was a “do or die” situation if it wanted to make the playoffs.

The Red Devils didn’t lose a game until the second round of the playoffs as they finished the regular season with a 6-3 record, went 4-2 in the competitive Three Rivers Conference South Division.

One perk Tieman had this season that he didn’t have last year was St. Bede transfer Taggart Venegas.

The senior quarterback and 2013 NewsTribune Offensive Player of the Year— along with Tonozzi and Urbanski — played under Tieman before he entered high school.
The transition was not an issue for either party as the quarterback and coach built a game-winning relationship.

“I would come off to the sidelines and would be able to talk to him about what I saw, what went on out there — we were always communicating,” Venegas said. “We talked about areas we could exploit. It just came down to execution.

“He went the extra mile for us. He is a tremendous coach and I’m going to miss playing for him, definitely. I wish I would have been able to play with him for the whole four years, but he did an excellent job this year and I couldn’t play for a better coach going out in my senior year.”

Brandon LaChance can be reached at 220-6995, or Follow him on Twitter @NT_LaChance.

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