'Like drinking from a fire hose': Owen football tries to find its footing

Karrigan Monk
Black Mountain News
Zach Gibson comes to Owen from Pisgah, where he was an assistant coach for four seasons.

Owen's football team is trying to find its footing with new head coach Zach Gibson. 

The team lost its first two games this season. At the season opener at Chase, the score was 57-15, and at the home opener against Albemarle the final was 57-12. 

"We have faced a little bit of adversity, and we are working on building how to handle that," Gibson said. "It's a little bit of trying to get kids in the right places and trying to understand what's best for the kids to get them in those right places." 

Gibson comes to Owen from Pisgah, where he served as an assistant coach for four seasons. He is preceded by Brint Russell, who resigned after only one season with the Warhorses to move with his family to Nashville. 

Gibson said coming in to a new team has been a learning experience.

"It's like drinking from a fire hose," Gibson said. "There's been a lot to do. Everybody tells you, 'You can be ready, you can be ready,' but you're never ready until you get into it. It's not just the X's and O's part of it, there's days where I miss just the football side and the scheme side of things."

Gibson said when he misses the football, he's checking on his players and assistant coaches, making sure they have what they need to succeed. 

Though the Warhorsesstarted 0-2, Gibson said the team plays strong football in the first half and he is working on changes to get that to carry through to the rest of the game. 

"Some of that's been positional changes, some of that's been a little bit of schematic changes," Gibson said. "We're trying to get that four-quarter mentality placed into them to where what we do in the first half can translate over to the second half."

To do this, Gibson said he is looking for his team to play cleaner and to be more consistent, which he thinks they are capable of because of the team he has. 

"We have a really talented group of kids," Gibson said. "We have a group that cares about one another, that will play for one another. They're willing to do whatever we ask them to do." 

Looking forward, Gibson said he hopes to implement these changes and succeed. 

"I hope we can remain competitive for four quarters of football," Gibson said. "Take what we're doing and get better at it. Take what we're doing not so well and find answers for it to keep pushing after our goals. We've shown what we can be capable of and then we've shown that that can go away and just finding a way to harness that."