High school football: American Leadership Eagles 2012 preview
ALA has a new coach and a new attitude
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Note: American Leadership Academy finished with a 3-7 overall record and was 3-7 in the 2A North Region in 2011.
SPANISH FORK — For decades coach Bobby Kauo has provided an enthusiastic and motivating presence for his players, but it’s doubtful he’s ever been this excited. At the ripe age of 74, Kauo has been given the head-coaching reins at American Leadership Academy after serving for more than three decades as an assistant at Timpview.
Kauo replaced Dave Lewis and has quickly found that the program he inherits offers a stark contrast to what he was used to at Timpview.
Take the amount of players available to him, for example.
While Timpview would often turn players away, Kauo has 32 players available to him — only 22 of which are healthy enough to play after a rash of summer injuries.
“If we get an injury, then we’re in real trouble. So that’s a huge challenge for us,” said Kauo. “Everyone has to play two ways and we can’t have any scout teams in practice, so it’s a big challenge and something I’m not used to as a coach. But it’s fun — it’s a challenge.”
Another one of the challenges is keeping players in the program until their senior seasons. Kauo has just four seniors this coming year due, in large part, to players ending up at other schools.
“A lot of that has to do with winning — they haven’t won much here — but we’re trying to change that,” said Kauo. “Players want to play for programs that win and with so many schools — Payson, Spanish Fork, Springvillle — in our area players have left for those schools after we teach them here.
So our challenge will be to keep them here.”
A couple of senior players Kauo will be relying on heavily are quarterback Briggs Fulton and lineman Oaks Morley. Both players are excited to be playing for a new coach and are anxious for the season to begin.
“I love coach Kauo,” said Fulton. “He comes from Timpview and he knows exactly what he’s talking about. He’s keeping it simple, which is good because I think last year things were way too complicated and we didn’t play well as a result.”
“I’m more excited for this season than I have been for a while,” added Morley. “I’m very happy that we have the coach we have. He’s a very happy and a fun guy who has a great spirit about him. So I think that’s going to be a big help to us this year.”
Kauo certainly hopes so.
"This is totally new for me, but it's something I've wanted for a while. So it should be good," said Kauo. "More than anything I just want my kids to have fun and understand that playing football the right way can be a lot of fun."
American Leadership Eagles at a glance
Coach: Coach Bobby Kauo has been coaching since 1969 when he accepted an assistant job at Provo High. This will be his first year as a head coach, however.
(6 returning starters; Multiple formations)
Coach Kauo will be installing a completely new offense that keeps things simple. According to Kauo it will be a smash-mouth system with new formations that he’s anxious to employ.