With Coolidge Coach Jason Lane
Coolidge snapped Dunbar's 41-game winning streak in regular season D.C. Interscholastic Athletic Association games, topping the Crimson Tide, 27-26, on Friday. The Post's Judith Evans talked to Lane about how the Colts, who were outscored 110-10 in their past two meetings against Dunbar, prepared for the game and the impact the win could have on the program.
Q. Did you and your coaching staff prepare your players differently psychologically, or physically, for this game?
A. I guess it was moreso motivation as opposed to a change in preparation. When you have lost to a team 60-0 and 50-10 in the past two seasons, as we did, I just brought the past in as a reference that those types of losses are an embarrassment. Of course, with Dunbar, we all know the streak, and that was the only motivation the players needed. Our goal was to try and end the streak, and actually to get the number one seed in the West Division during the playoffs.
As for the game, we did a lot more running during the week. We anticipated that Dunbar would pass quite a bit which meant that our linemen and our secondary would be running all over the field. Dunbar has great team speed, so if we wanted to keep up with them, we had to run just as much as them. Basically, what we did is run sprints at the beginning and towards the end of practice. After getting such a big win, they realize the benefit.
Q. When Dunbar blocked a punt and tied the score at 20 in the third quarter, what did you say to your players to keep their spirits up?
A. I could see that some players had their heads down, and couldn't believe what had happened as they headed toward the sideline. I told them that we could still win, and that overtime was the start of a whole new game.
Q. What was the reaction of students and administrators at Coolidge on Monday?
A. There is a buzz in a school that hasn't won in a long time, and we're going into the remainder of the season with a winning record. The kids and the teachers are just happy to see our success. The players are still wide-eyed and happy-go-lucky. We gave [the student body] a taste last year [when the team reached the playoffs for the first time since 1997]. Because we can get this far, with hard work, and if we work harder, you just imagine what we can accomplish. My coaching staff, not just Jason Lane, has worked pretty hard over the past three seasons to make this a program. Definitely, with a big win like this, we hope we will attract some kids that see Coolidge is another option with a real program.
-- Judith Evans