Q&A with P.K. Yonge coach Kent Johnson


Published: Sunday, August 18, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, August 17, 2013 at 10:41 p.m.

1. What are your expectations for the season?

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Coach Kent Johnson at P.K. Yonge poses for a portrait during the high school media day at The Gainesville Sun on Monday, July 22, 2013, in Gainesville, Fla.

Elizabeth Hamilton / Correspondent

“Our expectations are to have a winning season. Get the program turned around and try to link up with the past when P.K. Yonge was a powerhouse. Try to get that feel back that we’re going to be a team that you’ll have to reckon with us. Try to change the mentality from expecting to lose to expecting to win.”

2. Tell us about some of the players you expect big things from this year?

“We’ve got some skill, but we don’t have much depth on the line. But we’ve got some hard-nose football players. (Chuck Gates, Mason Hewitt, Hunter Eskew and Josh Gebhardt) have been playing varsity-level ball since they were young guys, so they have a feel of what it takes.”

3. In what areas do you expect your team to improve most from last year?

“I think intensity and toughness. We’re going to be in great shape. Our strength coach, Miguel Carradine, is doing a great job of getting them ready. I think that we’re just going to go out and not back down from anybody. We’re going to go out and everybody that we have is going to look to hit somebody, whether they are on offense or defense.”

4. You have had success in the past at both Eastside and Hawthorne. What are the first steps in rebuilding a program?

“The first step is confidence. You’ve got to have confidence in your players. What I’m going to exude is just having confidence in yourself and having confidence in your teammates — going out and being prepared and expecting to make plays and not being worried about the outcome of the game.”

5. The Blue Wave, who were independent the previous two years, are back in a district that includes Ocala Trinity Catholic. What is a realistic goal for your team in your first year?

“We don’t mind having the underdog role. You’d rather be favored in the game, because that means that you’ve probably got more experience and size and talent. But if you’re the underdog, you just go out and get it done and you try to have at least one more point than them by the time the night’s over. We’re definitely going out to try to shake up that district and try to become a team that’s in the playoffs.”

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