Littles seeks to build on success

Published 9:53 pm Thursday, August 18, 2016


King’s Fork High School head football coach Scottie Littles directs the team while running plays during practice. Littles said he aims for the state tournament this year.

King’s Fork High School head football coach Scottie Littles directs the team while running plays during practice. Littles said he aims for the state tournament this year.

By Henry Luzzatto


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King’s Fork High School football returns with a new coach, a new philosophy and a new swagger this season.

When the Bulldogs’ new head coach Scottie Littles took over the program in April, he immediately set down plans to make his mark on the school.

“It’s a dream and a privilege to be a head coach here,” he said. “We’ve got a big program that we can do a lot with and hopefully create that culture of success.”

This is the 26-year-old Littles’s first job as a head coach, after a stint as an assistant coach in Sarasota, Fla.

Littles took over from Joe Jones, who became head coach at Ocean Lakes in January.

Jones, King’s Fork’s previous coach, led the team for eight years, leading the Bulldogs to their first playoff berth in 2012. From 2012 to his last season in 2015, Jones’ King’s Fork team reached the playoffs every year, an unprecedented occurrence in school’s 12-year history.

“Joe has done a great job,” Littles said. “I want to take what he created and put my swagger on it and take them to the next level.”

While the team made it to the playoffs in each of the last four seasons, Littles is aiming even higher.

“This is the team that has been knocking on the door for a while,” he said. “We’re trying to make that step up. We’re going to be going for states and trying to win the district.”

When the season begins, the audience will get a chance to see a new offensive strategy from the team. Littles said his football philosophy differs from that of Jones, so Littles spent much of pre-season preparing his players to use a different system.

“The team previously played an option- or triple option-based system,” Littles said. “We’re going to be a little more spread.”

While the changes Littles has made in the team’s philosophy will be most evident at the varsity level, Littles said the junior varsity team is also learning the fundamentals of the system.

“Our goal is to have it run at all levels,” he said. “We want them to know the basics when they come up to varsity. It’ll be like a well-oiled machine.”

Littles’ plan to implement his system throughout all levels of King’s Fork football will hopefully create a long legacy of successful players, he said.

At the varsity level, Littles focuses on effort and putting in the work to achieve goals. He said nobody has an automatic starting spot in the team, causing players to have to fight for their roles.

“Some players that started last year won’t be starters this season,” Littles said. “Some people who were on the bench last year will be starters. If you earn your job, you keep your job.”

Littles emphasizes the idea of earning one’s place on the team with the introduction of “competition Tuesday,” where players have a chance to challenge for a role on the team.

“On competition Tuesday, if you think you can do better than the guy in your role, you can challenge him,” Littles said. “If you beat him, you move in.”

Littles’ demand for desire and hard work from his players is an important part of the legacy he hopes to have at King’s Fork. While Jones set up the base for what Littles wants to do, Littles said he wants to expand on Jones’s success and build a culture of success and unity.

“It’s all about that culture,” he said. “We want to show that we can work hard and have success through adversity.”