Note: Ben Lomond finished with an 0-10 overall record in 2013 and was seventh in 3AA North with an 0-6 record. It did not qualify for the 3AA playoffs.
OGDEN — For the last five years, unfortunately, there's been a revolving door in the Ben Lomond football coach's office.
The Scots have changed head coaches more often than some people file their income taxes — five times in five years — and it's been just about as frustrating for the school as it is for the rest of us to meet that annual April 15 deadline with those fine folks from the IRS.
Five different head coaches in five years' time is definitely not a recipe for building a winning program, much less rebuild one that has struggled mightily over the last decade and a half. Ben Lomond hasn't had a winning season since 2000, reaching the state playoffs just one time since then, and the Scots have won just three games over the last five seasons combined.
But Eric Alder is determined to change all of that. Sure, the first-year Ben Lomond head coach knows he's not going to transform the Scots into a championship-caliber team overnight, and he realizes it will take not only some time, but a ton of hard work, dedication and sacrifice to get it done.
He knows what he's getting into, and he's eager to give it a go.
"I think our biggest accomplishment could be strengthening the culture of the program," said Alder, a former assistant coach for a pair of Cache Valley schools, Sky View and Mountain Crest. "Whether that means we win all the games or we win a few or we win most of them, if we can strengthen the culture and instill a belief system in here, I think that's the biggest success we can draw out of these kids and out of this season.
"In the months that I've been here, I've realized that there's enough talent with these kids that they could be successful. How successful, I don't know, but we can win some football games. But it's getting them to believe in the whole program and the whole system and in each other, and to have them be accountable to each other and building up the culture of the program is really what we've focused on.
"And there's really only one way to do that, and that's to start with really hard work," he said. "We've worked our butts off in the weight room and in everything that we do, and those kids that want to rise to the occasion or rise to the challenge will, and those kids that don't won't. And they won't be a part of the program."
Alder feels like, despite the Scots' struggles, there are enough talented athletes in the B.L. program that it shouldn't be finding it so darned difficult to get into the win column, at least once in a while.
"I don't believe the cupboard's bare," he said, "and I told them that at one point in the summer that I realized having been here a couple of months and watching them work out and do things that the cupboard is not bare. And there's no reason that this program shouldn't be better than what it's been — there just isn't.
"And looking at the kids that we've got, we've got to do things right, we've got to be smart, and we've got to believe. And once those things happen, I think good things could take place here at Ben Lomond. I just think all the key components need to come together.
"That's not easy. That's not going to happen overnight, nor is it going to happen because we want it to," Alder said. "We're gonna experience some challenges along the way, but it all comes down to sticking to your core beliefs of effort and doing everything you can to be your best."
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