Biehl optimistic in year two

Published 9:33 pm Saturday, July 29, 2017

Nansemond-Suffolk Academy football coach Mike Biehl is confident about his transition into his second year.

A year ago, Biehl was getting ready for his first camp with the Saints. He was the new coach of a football program who had won the state championship the year before. A significant amount of talent from that state championship team had graduated. Biehl was tasked with the duty of defending a state championship as a first-time head coach.

NSA went 4-6 in Biehl’s first year. Now that the coach has a first full offseason with his team, he is excited for what’s to come in late August when the Saints play their first game.

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“We are looking to get better every day,” Biehl said. “Year one, you are laying the foundation of what the culture is going to be and how you want to develop the program. Now you figure out ways to make sure your team is getting better and improve on everything you established in year one.”

In his second year, Biehl is most looking forward to his players understanding what their roles are. Understanding what his expectations are allows his players to raise their expectations. The system has been in place for a year. Now, all players have to worry about is coming in and executing what they learned a year ago.

“We’ve been around each other for a full year now,” he said. “They know how I am. I know how they are. Now, we can get to business.”

Biehl feels the excitement about this season from his players as well. They are eager to get back to that state championship product that they were two years ago. Each day, Biehl wants his team to dominate that particular day.

“We are here to compete for a state championship,” he said. “No matter what our personnel is. These kids wouldn’t come to practice if they didn’t believe we could. The groundwork has been laid. As cliché as it sounds, we really do have to take everything one day at a time and make sure we are doing what we need to do for that day.”

Now that two-a-days have started, Biehl is always reminded why this time of the year is the most exciting to him. The grass, the pads and whistles blowing all sound like one harmonizing song — a song called football season.

“I get butterflies like I’m going to put the pads on just like the kids,” Biehl joked. “I’m glad there are some things I have to take care of before camp to take my mind off some things. Otherwise, I’d be consumed by it. I love the game so much. You do all you can to prepare, but once that day comes, it’s just like being a player.”

The Saints will be returning all but five seniors from last year’s team. Biehl believes that people will be impressed with the athleticism the Saints have this year and how well they execute.

NSA will begin camp Monday.