The Homer Mariners varsity football team was toppled 21-8 by the Kodiak High School team during their opening home game this past Saturday, but head coach Walter Love isn’t worried.
In fact, the players and the game were much improved over this time last year, he said.
“I think the game that the boys played was significantly better,” Love said.
There were several rookie mistakes and fundamental technique issues that contributed to Saturday’s loss, Love said. He’s had the team members for the last three weeks leading up to the season, and many of the players start their freshman year. If he’s lucky, Love will get a few that have had a year or two of Pop Warner football before that, he said.
“(The players) worked harder in the last three weeks than I would imagine they had worked for a long time,” Love said.
The Mariners started out moving the ball pretty well in the first half, he said, but went a little flat coming out in the third quarter. Love said this is a building season for a new offense, so throughout the season he’ll have the team focus diligently on defense.
“This year our target is to say, 30 points or less against,” he said.
In this Saturday’s upcoming away game against Barrow High School, Love said the Mariners will focus on the fundamentals. Barrow is a tough team with a lot of talent, he said, so his players will employ their defense and little bit of misdirection.
“The outlook is positive,” Love said of this year’s season. “I think we played a better game Saturday than a lot of people expected.”