Coach Van Isaac is getting ready to begin his third season at the helm of the Adair County Indians. He was brought in to turn the football program around and take it back to the prominence it once had.
Unfortunately, Isaac hasn’t had much of a chance to get that process started. He was hired late in the summer before the 2019 campaign and last year, he and the Indians never knew if they were going to play from one day to the next because of COVID-19. It has been frustrating.
“Year one I got in here really late, I didn’t get in until June or July,” Isaac said. “Year two, we had Covid, so this year seems like the first normal year we’ve had. It has been the first year we’ve had spring ball, and a full off-season.
“I just can’t wait, I have a chip on my shoulder. With me being a young coach and struggling the first two years, you better believe I am hungry; and I am hungry for a win and to get this program turned around.”
The Indians opened training camp on Monday.
Adair County players have been working diligently throughout the summer and Isaac believes his team came out of the crazy 2020 Covid season with the right attitude.
“The direction we’re headed in has been in a positive direction, so we’re not going to do a lot of things different this year. I believe in what we’ve done,” the coach said. “You can be assured I am very determined to have a great season.
“The offseason was above average as it pertains to January through March. I liked the amount of kids we had in the weight room, probably 25. We had such a good spring ball. I like where we’re at overall.”
Isaac received a big surprise this summer when he found out five of his seniors from last year’s team are coming back to play a fifth year through the district’s supplemental year program. That group includes standouts like quarterback and free safety Brady Cundiff, running back and linebacker Cameron Harmon, fullback and defensive end Dylan Pierce, tight end and linebacker Dawson Conn; and lineman Brandon Foster. He said there is also a possibility he could be adding a sixth one.
With that core of players to build around, Isaac is also excited to see what his rising seniors will contribute. That talented group includes, linebacker Case Cowan, last year’s leading tackler; guard Briley Taylor, defensive tackle Joshua Smallwood, tight end Nathan Hines, quarterback and defensive back Luke Janes, fullback Brian Cornelison, and speedy wide receiver DeShawn Singleton.
“I want them to be confident, what we call supremely confident, where you are confident in your preparation, confident in the hard work you’ve put in, confident in your abilities,” Isaac said. “When we walk on to the field with a team like Taylor County or Glasgow, I do not want to be intimidated. (We need to remember) we’re pretty good, too.”
The Indians’ preseason practice schedule is Monday through Thursday, usually from 4-6 p.m. They will take part in a camp at Kentucky Wesleyan College in Owensboro July 28-31.
Adair County is scheduled to open the 2021 season Aug. 20 at home with Russell County. Isaac said he is shooting to break the all-time attendance record that night with 3,000 paid admissions. At halftime of the game, the 1992 Adair County football team and coach John Peck will be honored.
Members of the 1992 team that would like to come back for the event should contact Isaac at [email protected]
By Scott Wilson