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On The Fence

Bobby Leach "The Rooster" | 8/25/2015, 11:35 p.m.
Welcome to the 2015 fall sports season! Last Friday I spent my evening watching the annual Blue/Orange varsity football scrimmage ...
Bobby Leach

Welcome to the 2015 fall sports season! Last Friday I spent my evening watching the annual Blue/Orange varsity football scrimmage game at Romeoville High School particularly focusing on the newly named head varsity coach Oliver Gibson. A former Romeoville football standout himself, Gibson was only officially named coach in early August a delay in most eyes due to a challenge to his hiring from a teacher within the district. With the situation presumably resolved, all attention is now focused on building the Spartan football team.

During the game, Gibson’s presence was felt on both sides of the ball but I never saw him lose his cool or change his fatherly approach to the game. Bad plays were simply another opportunity to teach his players and the good plays were rewarded with his trademark smile. I suppose with his NFL and collegiate playing career front and center, he commands respect from his players and parents. That notion was none more evident than the moment where Coach Gibson addressed all the fans in attendance over a live mic.

Among common demands placed on his players was the word trust. He implored fans and parents to encourage their kids to trust in himself and his staff. Gibson makes it known right away that he not only wants to win but wants to return Romeoville to a football powerhouse. “We were feared when I played and opposing teams knew they were in for a battle when they saw us on their schedule,” said Gibson. “I think we can bring this school to the top and represent the toughness and determination the Village of Romeoville has always represented in their blue collar roots.”

Regardless of how the team does this season, there can be no doubt of Gibson’s sincerity of his long term goals for the program. With all fall sport programs coming into focus as the start of the seasons are now underway, there is a very interesting story brewing at the Romeoville Spartans football club with the addition of Gibson and given his track record, I wouldn’t bet against him and his staff.