It's a little later than usual, but here's the Q&A that I conducted earlier this week with Concord's football coah, Mike Kellar.
I've been mentioning for the last few weeks that I've been getting lost in the athletic building looking for Kellar's office. Well, I'm proud to report that I found his office AND found an exit successfully.
Click here to see the story in this week's newspaper that was written from this.
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Interview with Mike Kellar, Concord's football coach
Chris Slater: You guys suffered your second defeat of the season this weekend, 34-31. What happened?
Mike Kellar: We came out a little flat, got behind early. It was 10-3 a couple minutes into the second quarter. They made a couple good plays and went down and scored right before the half. You go into the half, 24-3 and you see really what you’re made of. We came out in the second half and played a lot better. We went right down the field and scored. We held them the next series and scored again. It was just a classic case of “too little, too late.”
CS: How do you feel about your team being able to make the comeback?
MK: Well, I’m proud of them that they didn’t give up. I’d like to think that they don’t have any quit in them. They understand that that’s the standard of play. They’re to be commended for not giving up, but I hope they understand that that’s what we expect. We expect them to never quit or give up.
CS: I wasn’t at the game, but I’ve heard from some people who were that there were some complaints about the officiating…
MK: Yeah, well, you can complain all you want about the officiating. There were a couple calls that could have gone either way. If you talk to Shepherd’s coaches, they’ve probably got some complaints about the officiating. Officiating is a lot like the weather - there’s not really a whole lot you can do about it. Obviously, coaches and officials, there’s a little bit of a relationship there where we’re going to see things a little differently. After watching the tape, they did a good job for the most part. There’s a couple things I’d question, but I can’t complain.
CS: How do you bounce back from this loss?
MK: Well, I mean, you just gotta regroup and come out fighting next week. I told the team that this loss should hurt until we win. The only way to make the hurt go away is by winning. So, you know, we’re gonna regroup and do the same things we always do. We believe in what we do, from a preparations standpoint. We’re not gonna change that because we lost a game by three points. We’re going to go back to the drawing board and regroup and come out fighting again next week.
CS: You play Glenville State this weekend. They beat Concord 34-14 last year. What do you think the outcome will be this time?
MK: Well, you know, we have to go to their place and play them. They’re as talented as a team that’s I’ve seen on tape this year. I mean, to be honest with you, they’ve probably got as much skill and depth as any team we’ve played. They’re record is 2-4 and I don’t understand why they played to 1-AA teams, which generally as a division II team, it’s hard to beat those teams. Then they’ve had two games where, they had a crazy game against Fairmont State in which they lost. I really don’t understand how they lost. And, then West Liberty was a close football game and they got beat by a very good football team. You know, we’ve got our work cut out for us - they’re a good squad. We’ll have to go there and play a good game to win.
CS: How’s the rest of the conference looking right now?
MK: Well, Charleston and West Liberty are still undefeated in the league. They’re battling it out. They’ll eventually have to play each other. Right now, just as we said in the pre-season meeting, those are the two teams to beat.
CS: Last week, you mentioned Charleston, West Liberty, and Glenville. You lost to Charleston, you play Glenville this week and you have West Liberty to close the season. How are you looking at that?
MK: Well, it’s gonna sound like a lie to you, but I really don’t look at it. I can’t control it, we play who’s on our schedule. If it’s someone who we’re supposed to beat, if it’s someone who’s supposed to beat us, we don’t prepare for it any differently. It’s more for fans - fans think of it that way. Us coaches, we just prepare for the team that’s on our schedule and do everything we can to win that game and then we try to learn from it, bad or good and tee it up again the next week and do the same thing. That’s the way we do it.
CS: You’re about at the midway point of the season. Looking back, did you think that you would ever be this far?
MK: Be 4-2?
MK: I mean, I kind of did. I kind of hoped that we would be. I thought we were better than people expected us to be. We’re probably right were we should be. I mean, we could have easily beat Shepherd, but we could have easily lost to Lenoir-Rhyne. It’s one of those deals where our record is probably right where it should be. Bill Parcells says, “You are what your record says you are, so…” [laughs]
CS: Football is not the only sport that’s doing well right now. How do you feel about the success of the other sports teams?
MK: Oh, I couldn’t be happier for them. You couldn’t find a tighter group of coaches throughout the department. This is the fourth school I’ve worked at, it’s the closest all the sports have been, as coaches. And students. Our football team goes to the volleyball games and cheers them on. All the girls from the volleyball and soccer and softball show up at our games. Basketball works our sidelines. And, the girls basketball works our concession. I mean, I couldn’t be happier with how the programs are here at Concord and happy for their success. I want to see us win a national championship in every sport we have.
CS: Who were your players of the game?
MK: Offensive player of the game was Brian Kennedy, who was also Conference Player of the Week. I think he was Co-Offensive Player of the Week, you may want to look that up. Defensive Player of the game was RJ Anderson and Dan Stone. Special Teams Player of the Week was Dan Stone.
CS: What about the Scouts? [Red-shirt freshmen who participate in practices]
MK: Scouts, offensively was Devell Smith. Defensively was Zack Belcher. Special Teams was Chris Lawson.
CS: That looks like everything I have. Is there anything you’d like to add or would like mentioned?
MK: We’ve got Homecoming in a couple weeks. I hope everyone on campus is looking forward to that. We’re going to try and go up to Glenville and steal one and come back and have a good week of Homecoming festivities.
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Kellar mentioned that Brian Kennedy was Co-WVIAC offensive player of the week. I looked it up and Willie Walker from West Liberty State College was the other player of the week.
If you have any questions about the interview or would like to suggest questions for a future interview, let me know.