‘Canes excited to play for Wells
With any coaching change, there are always anxious moments for the players on the team as they await the news of the hiring.
Such was the case for the Morristown East football team the last few weeks after the sudden departure of coach Dwayne Hatcher for job opportunities out of state.
For two weeks, the players wondered who their new coach would be. Little did they know their new coach was one of their own, someone they had grown to trust this past season for the complete turnaround the defense made under his guidance.
So when news broke late last week that defensive coordinator Dewayne Wells had surfaced as the next head coach, the team was excited to have a familiar face and relieved to have a new head coach.
Wells met with the team Monday morning in the East High School cafeteria, and he told them he had visions of standing in front of them as their head coach since Hatcher resigned on April 2.
“The day coach Hatcher told me he was leaving, I envisioned myself standing in front of you guys right now,” Wells said to the team. “I’m looking forward to being your head coach. It’s so exciting for me to be in this seat again, and I welcome the opportunity to teach and guide such a great group of young men.”
Junior running back and kicker Chris Logan said he expected to hear about big changes in the coaching staff with possibly someone new to the team as a head coach, but he was excited to hear Wells was the man for the job.
“I was just happy to hear the news,” Logan said. “I had expected a lot of change with a new head coach, but now that we have one of our own, it will be a smooth transition. It’s going to be a lot smoother, especially going into spring practice. And then going into the season, it will almost feel like last year. It will be a little bit different, but not much.
“I know a lot of these guys are excited and ready to go out there and hit somebody. When we all found out coach Wells got the job, we were all pretty happy. There were some that wanted some change, but the majority of us were excited about coach Wells getting the opportunity.”
Sophomore defensive back and wide receiver Bryson Stephens, who blossomed under Wells this past season as a starter, said he enjoys the aggressive style the defense plays and is looking forward to what the new coach can do with the team this season.
“Coach Wells has a coaching style that is different than most coaches, and I love it,” Stephens said. “He gets along with all of the players, and he interacts really well with the other coaches. They all really work well together.
“Our defensive style, I really liked it. We return a lot of guys, so hopefully we won’t have to change much and can keep it going. It helps a lot to know we have so many guys coming back and we already know what he expects.
“Some guys wanted a new thing, but I was excited about coach Wells because he was already here and we already know his system,” Stephens added. “I’m excited because I’m a defensive guy, and my defensive coordinator is now the head coach.”
Junior Jacob Samsel played a key role in the defensive secondary last season for the Hurricanes, and he too was thrilled to hear of his defensive head coach becoming the head of the program.
“First thing I did was congratulate him and tell him how excited I was for him,” Samsel said. “I knew with him being a returning coach, there wouldn’t be much of a change, but the changes he makes will be good for us. I’m anxious and ready to get back to work for him.
“I think it’s very important to have that carry over from last year and keep the momentum going,” Samsel continued. “We have to let the coaches do their thing and work hard. I love playing for coach Wells on defense, and I’m looking forward to this season. With a lot of returning players on defense, I expect us to have a great year.”
-By Matt Daniels, Tribune Sports Editor