The Millennium Tigers have a brand new head coach in Jason Randels. Randels was the defensive coordinator for the Tigers last season, so he’s quite familiar with the program and the success level it’s been at in recent years.
Like with any new job opening, Randels went through the interview process, along with countless others, not knowing how things were going to shake out. Fortunately for him, he was hired and now he has his “dream job.”
“It’s unbelievable,” Randels said. “You don’t normally get your dream job right out of the gate and that’s what I did.”
“People usually have to work up to the pinnacle job, and that’s what I did, I got it right out of the gate,” Randels said.
Having a background in defense will help Randels shape his team’s mentality and attitude for the coming season.
“I think so,” Randels said. “I think our kids have that mentality anyways. Our kids have worked hard all summer long in the weight room. They’ve been here committed all year long. We do have the tough nosed players, but we’ve also got some real good skilled players.”
“We will definitely play with a fast mentality like defensive players,” Randels said.
Being a head coach is unlike any job that Randels has ever undertaken, but he loves the responsibility.
“It’s more than I ever thought it could be with the administrative side of it, but I’m ready for it,” Randels said. “I’m excited, I have a great coaching staff that’s more than willing to help all the time.”
The Tigers will have a veteran group this coming season. According to Randels, Millennium will have at least 30 players back who’ve had some time at the varsity level, including senior linebacker Gauge Moody.
Moody was second on the team in sacks last year with 10.5, and is looking to do more damage to the opposing quarterbacks this season.
For Moody, it’s the love of hitting quarterbacks that drives him to be the best.
“I just like to play tricks on the quarterback, because that’s my favorite part of playing defense is hitting the quarterback,” Moody said.
Having a group of defensive players lined up with him that he’s familiar with will also do wonders for him this year.
“It’ll make my job super easy, because I can trust the whole team, I can trust my defense, the whole nine yards,” Moody said.
Moody’s footwork is a point of concern for him coming into this season, and he’s been working hard to strengthen that part of his game.
Another one of the hard hitters for the Tigers is strong safety/wide receiver Aaron Diggs, who’s also heading into his senior season. He was second on the team in tackles last year – only to his brother Antonio.
One of the reasons why the Tigers’ defense was so feared last year was because guys like Diggs varied their styles of play up a bit. For Diggs, he played more of a “run-first” style of play at the safety position, meaning he would focus on stopping the opposition’s running game first, instead of focusing solely on the pass.
“I know as a DB, it’s not [a] run-first kind of thing,” Diggs said. “I like to come up and hit running backs and tight ends.”
Diggs has been at Millennium for his entire high school football career. He’s grown so much since entering the campus doors four years ago. He describes what it’s like being a Tiger.
“The school’s awesome, the programs are awesome, we always have a good chance to fight for state, so it’s a good program,” Diggs said.
A program he thinks will do quite well in 2013 under Coach Randels.
“I expect nothing but the best,” Diggs said. “I think we can go, if not 10-0, we’re going 9-1. We’re not losing that many games this year.”