Ooltewah hopes new coach, experience create winning season
OOLTEWAH, Tenn. (WDEF) — After having three different head coaches in 2021, the Ooltewah Owls have finally settled on a familiar face to lead the flock. Former Owls quarterback Goose Manning takes over and tries to get winning back to exit 11.
“Ooltewah’s where I’m supposed to be.”
After a quick off-season stint with Tyner, Ooltewah’s former offensive coordinator Goose Manning got a call to return to his alma mater, as head coach.
“You know, I graduated there in 2011 and didn’t want to work anywhere else when I got out of college playing at Carson-Newman,” Manning said. “Any chance to come back, I was coming back.”
“We’ll definitely roll into the season a lot easier just because he’s been around us and knows us better,” quarterback AJ Robinson said.
“That awkward get-to-know-you period is gone,” Manning said. “I know everybody. I know what they can do. We’re familiar with them and their attitudes.”
“He knows our strengths and weaknesses and knows what to do to make this offense, and whole team, succeed,” Robinson said.
A big strength for Ooltewah this year is their experienced receiving corps.
“I mean, we’re just more athletic, if I’m being honest,” receiver Dawson Jones said.
“We’ve got some really fast receivers. I’m pretty sure we can beat them off the line every time,” Robinson said.
“It’ll be ugly. It’ll be bad for the DBs that play us, and they better come ready and in shape, too,” Jones said.
“They’re confident,” Manning said. “There’s some wiggle room there. You want to be confident but you want to make sure you can back it up. So now that they’ve come out and said it we’re going to have to hold them to high standards.”
Ooltewah drops down to 5-A this season, but that doesn’t make the schedule any easier.
“Our region’s tough, with Walker Valley, McMinn, Rhea County, Howard, those are some dudes with good coaches and good programs, so we got to bring it every week,” Manning said. “Then our non-region schedule is Baylor and East Ham, so we didn’t do ourselves any favors. But that’s what you want to do. You want to throw your guys in the fire and compete against the best, and luckily we’re going to do that every week.”