Indians wrap up spring under new coach

by Todd Brooks

“It’s a great day to be an Indian,” new Comanche football coach Gary Robinson yelled out as his team ran drills on the final day of spring practice.

Robinson is tasked with helping rebuild the Comanche football team that went 3-7 in 2022 and he has seen nothing but promise in the process after the first spring practice concluded last week.

“It went really well,” Robinson said. “We had a good turnout. We’re going to be young and we’re going to have to build on it but I think the future is bright here in a couple of years when the kids get a little older and they get a little more used to our program and the way I do things. They’ve responded really well.”

Robinson said his team is putting in the effort to be a team on the rise.

“They want to be good, they want to win,” Robinson said. “I can’t ask for anything better than that.”

One of the main goals of the spring was just trying for the players and the coach to get used to each other and for them to learn a new system and terminology.

“Not being able to be there during the offseason because I had to take care of my duties at Grandfield and everything and moving as well slowed things down a bit,” Robinson said. “The boys had to learn my schemes, my terminology and the pace of practice is faster for them. There’s a lot of organization, we’re moving from one drill to the next really quick. There’s a sense of urgency in practice and trying to get them to move quick and fast.”

Robinson is a firm believer of the benefits of being in the weight room. Summer Pride starts in June.

“We need to get them used to how I run the weight room which is also pretty fast with a sense of urgency,” Robinson said. “Basically, they’ve been learning schemes and new terminology and they’ve done a great job. They jumped on it really quick. They’re out there running good plays already. They were out there running some good stuff, so I’m proud of them.”

And he’s been proud of their attitude.

“Their attitude has been awesome,” Robinson said. “Like I said, they want to be good. They want to get this program to the point where we are a consistent playoff team. Obviously, that’s not going to happen tomorrow. It’s going to take a little time to build it. I think they believe in that and they want to be a part of something special. They are putting a lot of pride into the program and I can just tell. I see it in their smiles and the way they respond to the coaching very well. They are the most coachable kids I’ve ever been around.”

The coach points out the excitement is not limited to the players.

“We’ve had two booster club meetings in the last week and the turnout has been amazing,” Robinson said. “People are showing up and wanting to help and wanting to support. Those have been some of the biggest booster club meetings I’ve ever been a part of. There’s just so many people who want to be a part of it and they’re hungry, too. I think that is a representation of the community, they are so hungry for a winning football team. It’s not going out and winning every game, it’s going out there and fighting to the end despite the circumstances.”

Like some other schools have done in the past, the Indians will have a “Midnight Madness” first practice of the fall.

“We’ll start practice at 12 a.m. on Aug. 7 and what I told my booster club was you could make a carnival atmosphere out of it,” Robinson said. “You could start it at like 8 or 9 p.m. on Aug. 6, which is a Sunday with bounce houses, face painting, competitions for the little ones and just have some stuff for the community to be a part of. Then we’ll start practice at midnight, run through the tunnel and the spirit line. They are really loving that. They want to make it big and really support these kids.”

Robinson will have the opportunity to work with some former Indians as he will coach in the Citizen Potawatomi Nation All Star Game this Friday at Oklahoma Baptist University. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. with player introductions at 6:45 p.m.

Former Comanche players participating include Cade White, Kooper Doucet, Noah Presgrove, Jack Newton, Logan Bain, Kasen VanBuskirk, Brady Dobbins and Braylen Butler.