First-year head coach Raleigh Roundtree described the transformation of the Josey football team in two words: more aggressive.
Roundtree is heading into his inaugural season at the helm after serving as the Eagles’ offensive coordinator last season. He said he is going for a complete overhaul of the culture of the team.
“I’m just trying to bring change to the program,” said Roundtree, a former Josey star. “Most of the kids here are helping to change things around. Once you get them in the habit of doing things a new way, hopefully they will buy into your system.”
Senior cornerback Jabrie Dominguez has already embraced the change. He said the team will rely on Roundtree’s experience on all levels of football to help them grow.
“Being under Roundtree feels good for the players who want to learn the game,” Dominguez said. “He has played at this school, in college and in the NFL. For him to come back to coach us gives us a more positive feeling about playing the game.”
Senior linebacker Leon McQuaker said Roundtree is injecting a new atmosphere for the players and the future of the program.
After going 2-8 last season, he said the goal is to reverse that record.
“Coach (John) Noah was a great coach, but this year we are working a lot harder,” McQuaker said. “We are trying to flip our record from last year. We want to bring another state title to Josey.”
With a change at the top, McQuaker said he had to work harder to help facilitate the change. He spent more time working on his body this off-season to come back in the best shape possible.
“It is all about what you do when nobody is looking,” McQuaker said. “So I tried to eat right, stay in the weight room and come back stronger for the team.”
The first step on that road goes through the Hephzibah Rebels on Friday night.