NHS grad returns to lead Trojans on the football field

| August 22, 2017

NEWCOMERSTOWN – Dirk Gadd has a lot of great memories from playing high school football at Newcomerstown and wants to help the next generation of Trojans experience the same things he did.

“The last two years I was a volunteer assistant coach here, but it was always a dream of mine to be the coach of my hometown team so when I heard about this opportunity I expressed interest in it,” he said.

Gadd, a 1998 NHS graduate who also played football at Muskingum University will be leading the Trojans into their 2017 season.

“One of our strengths this year is our veteran offensive line,” he said. “We have juniors and seniors on it who are big physical kids. We also have a lot of sophomores in the skill positions that are very athletic. Offensively we expect to be focused and do the little things right.”

On the defensive side of the ball, Gadd said they are going to be aggressive and better tacklers.

“We are going to get 11 people to the football,” he said. “The kids have been working hard and we’ve focused on conditioning this year.”

Gadd takes a lot of pride in being a Trojan and plans to bring back traditions he enjoyed when playing for the program.

“I want to bring back traditions that Jeff Cook started when he was here,” Gadd said. “We are going to give out orange jerseys to kids that demonstrate leadership skills. You have to earn them and they all eventually will, some will just earn them quicker than others.”

Another focus of Gadd’s was team building activities. The football players participated in a lock-in at the school and have done other activities, like bowling together.

Gadd also noted that they have what he calls the trail of tears, which is a well worn path from the locker room to the football field.

“We run single file, one behind the other” he said. “A lot of blood, sweat and tears have been dripped on that ground. It’s symbolic of the hard work the kids have put in.”

The Trojans will play in the Inter-Valley Conference, which has a new look this season with a south (big) school division and north (small) school division. Several schools were added to the conference and Gadd said they will be facing some talented football programs.

“I tell the kids you should want to play in a conference that is competitive and this is a very football talented conference,” he said.

The 2017 team features seven seniors, five of which are new.

“Only two of them return from last year and those are Daniel Russell and Calvin Ringer who play offensive line and defensive line,” Gadd said. “They are experienced, quality kids.”

Newcomerstown opens the season with a home game at 7 p.m., Friday, Aug. 25 against Barnesville. While Gadd wants the kids to win, he also wants to make sure they have positive high school football experiences.

“I want them to be competitive, be disciplined and develop leadership skills that they can use on the football field and off of it,” he said. “I want to give the community a football team that they can be proud of. I’ve lived here my whole life and this community means a lot to me.”

Helping Gadd develop a quality program and quality kids are his fellow coaches Steven Pritchard, Tyler Kiner, Robb Hendershot, Jason Bryant and Matt Davis. Gadd said junior high coaches Alan Fish and Ryan Hendershot will be helping out at the varsity level.

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About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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