After more than 35 years and 301 wins at Tehachapi High School, the Steve Denman era is officially over.
Taking over the head coaching mantle is someone who never saw it coming. "Not at all. Not even close," said first year coach Doug DeGeer. "I don't think anyone could really think about what was going to happen."
DeGeer, like so many others in Tehachapi, played football under Denman, with DeGeer suiting up as the Warriors' center in the late 90's.
After more than three decades with the same coach leading the way, players are quick to notice the change. "Everything's different," said senior running back Connor Timm. "Definitely a whole new offense."
While Denman ran the Wing-T offense for years, DeGeer hints that this year might be different. "Everyone wants to know 'Hey are you going to throw the ball more?' You've gotta have someone to throw and catch," he said.
Players say they're running "every spectrum of offense" trying to figure out what will work for the upcoming season. But in this community, the head coaching job is about more than just X's & O's. "There's so much other between fundraising and equipment and just coordinating the program and figuring out what your practice plan is going to be and trying to coordinate everything with all three levels (varsity, JV, freshman)."
While it's a new face, a new offense and a new direction for the team, school and community, it still comes down to just being a new season bringing players the chance to leave a mark. "Obviously we're going to try and start something that will stay at this school forever," said senior fullback Garrett Curry.
Tehachapi will open the season at home on September 1st when the Warriors will host Burroughs at 7:30 PM.
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