In Friday’s afternoon meeting in the LGI, he spoke to a very receptive group of 50 football players. Eyes were glued and ears perked as incoming players were eager to learn about their new coach.
“There is no secret to success...my former team worked hard. Guess what we’ll do here. Work hard,” Shay said in his inaugural speech. He stressed that the team will have a fresh start and that the best 11 players from both sides of the ball will be put out onto the field.
Defense was an expected talking point at Friday’s meeting after players learned of his previous defensive coaching position in Harrisburg. Shay mentioned his philosophy: being different defensively; incorporating man-to-man coverage in the game plan and blitzing constantly to force the opposing offense to make mistakes. “I want turnovers. Possessing the ball is how you win games.”
Shay mentioned a new acronym to the team: F.A.M.I.LY: Forget About Me, I Love You. The room of fifty football players chuckled, but the new head coach remained firm in the fact that he cares a lot about his players.
He went on to say that there aren’t many jobs he would have left, but there was a reason why he left the high-caliber school of McDevitt for the position offered at Red Lion.
“I know talent. I came to Red Lion because there is so much ability and you guys are so close to being a great team. There are many tremendous returning players. There is no reason that a school like this can’t be mentioned in a breath with Cumberland Valley, Central Dauphin... win or lose,” said Shay to his new team. “Teams will leave us knowing they were a part of a football game.”
The conclusion of the meeting left players such as junior Chris Knorr “very excited for the upcoming season”. Knorr expressed a clear approval with Shay’s credentials. He wasn’t the only one who seemed to look forward to the future. Many others including sophomore Dan Waldrup thought the meeting “went well”.
“He seems like he’s a good coach who will get the job done. His words of encouragement motivated me. I’m excited for this season and to have the opportunity to work hard and bring Red Lion back to the top,” Waldrup said.
Shay concluded the meeting with encouraging words. “I’m excited and I hope you are as well. We will do great things. You will be proud to wear Red Lion on your jersey and proud to walk on that field and off. We can win here.”
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