Cavalier Corner

August 2013

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cavaliersports behind the scenes Football Graduate Assistants As any Division I football coach can attest, the graduate assistants are an integral part of the staff and of the team's ultimate success. However, unlike those who spend their days in the spotlight on the field, these young men know going in that there is a lot of work behind the scenes with little fanfare. Marked by long hours, ongoing demands and heightened football responsibilities, Mike Saint Germain Jonathan Lewis Tommy Reamon graduate assistants then must balance their until midnight, taking care of all of their responsibilities, academics en route to a post-graduate degree. including classes and papers. This year, Cavaliers head coach Mike London has the "We are always trying to be a week ahead of that current following four graduate assistants: Jacob Hodges, Tommy week," Saint Germain said. "Ideally all of our work for the Reamon Jr., Mike Saint Germain and Jonathan Lewis. There is almost nothing they do not do, including evalu- upcoming week's opponent, except for that Saturday's ating recruits. And when it comes to Cavalier opponents game that they'll play, is done by Thursday. When we walk into the office on Sunday morning, we watch the games and scouting, they do it all. They are responsible for breaking down hours upon from the previous day and roll into the opponent for the following week." hours of video, tendencies, formations and schemes, During the game, the graduate assistants have specific including down and distance and personnel. All of the data must be charted and formatted in spreadsheets for responsibilities as assigned by their position coach. Lewis said that one of his in-game duties is to track the opposthe coaching staff. "We also draw up playing cards for the scout team," ing center's keys, whether he turned to the strong side or tracked the Mike linebacker, for example. Lewis said. "Drawing a card may seem simple, but every On-field coaching and instruction is part of the workformation, alignment and the amount of detail takes time to be mindful of everything. If the hash mark is wrong or a load that graduate assistants relish. Working with the players hands-on keeps them fresh and in tune to the player is in the wrong alignment, it could give the defense payoff — seeing the players perform on the field. or offense a totally different look." "There is no glory; it is all guts. There is a lot expected of While the team may start practice at 8 a.m., the graduyou. If you are not doing a good job, it affects the team," ate assistants are typically on the clock by 5:30 in the Lewis said. "The coaches have high expectations and you morning to make sure the practice schedule is in place have high expectations for yourself — you want to help and ready to go, while double checking and setting any team the win. I love football and love to teach people the scripted plays the coaches may want for that particular game; this is pure love, wanting to coach." day. Sometimes they find themselves on the go from then — Sean Corso

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