Jeremy Kirk is at the beginning phase of a major building project. This is Kirk’s second season as the coach, but it’s the first year for the Eagles to play 11-man football. It’s a major undertaking, and he knew it wasn’t going to be easy.

Jeremy Kirk said, “Absolutely! 100 percent! You have to look ahead and say, ‘Okay, we are going to be 0-10. If we get a win or two that first year, that’s good stuff.'”

TLCA had an option to stay in the 6-man world for a while, but Kirk wanted to get the process started.

Kirk added, “We’re growing. We’re growing. That asked me, ‘Coach, we have six-man numbers. Do you want to go 11-man.’ I said, ‘Absolutely! There’s no reason not to. We’re just getting bigger.'”

It takes a lot of nerve to start something like building a brand new 11-man program, but the build is what makes it appealing to Kirk and the other coaches.

“It’s a lot of fun,” Kirk said. He added, “My coaching staff and I talk about it every day. We’re building the program. That’s what you want. To come in and lay the foundation and watch it grow is an amazing thing.”

Zaidryn Nobles-Moreno said, “It’s great to have him. It’s great to have someone that can lead this program and take us where we need to go.”

What about the players? What do they think of their coach? Do they understand what Coach Kirk is doing for them?

Nobles-Moreno said, “Coach Kirk comes in, and it’s new. Everything is new, new offense, new defense, new intensity we never had before.”

Luke Miller said, “Dedicated, compassionate about what he does. We’ve been through some tough times moving from 6-man to 11-man. He really love our guys. He enjoys what he does.”

An NFL coach once said, “You play to win the game!” That’s true, but Kirk and the Eagles know the wins are going to be hard to come by early on. So, what’s the next most important thing in high school football?

Kirk said, If you go out and have fun, fun takes care of the plays. The plays take care of the scoreboard. The scoreboard takes care of the winning.”

Nobles-Moreno added, “We go, obviously, to win, but the main goal we have, other than winning, is have fun. Without having that that then no one would be here.”

Kirk said, “That’s how we approach every game. If we are having fun, we’re okay. I don’t care what the scoreboard looks like because we are improving.”

Jeremy Kirk is the Abilene Teachers Federal Credit Union Coach of the Week.