Meet Dover-Sherborn's New Head Football Coach: Joseph Schotland
Hired last week, the first-time head coach sat down with Patch to talk about being hired as the new Dover-Sherborn varsity football coach.
The search for Dover-Sherborn's new varsity football coach is officially over. Meet Joseph Schotland, who was hired last week to take the helm as the Raiders new head coach for the fall season.
The position is Schotland's first as a head coach. For the past three years, he has been an assistant coach at Duxbury High School, where during that span they had a 33-3 record, winning three league titles and two state championships.
That is the type of success Schotland is hoping to bring with him to Dover-Sherborn.
“All of the ingredients are here to build a really special program,” Schotland said.
He was an assistant for Tri-Valley League foe Westwood from 2004 to 2008.
“We played D-S every year and every year it was a battle. I always found the kids to be smart and tough, and they played hard and they hit hard, the Westwood guys were always sore after those games.”
That was part of the allure that led him to want to coach the Raiders.
“If you see tough kids that want to hit and want to win and you know they’re smart in the classroom, and it’s a gorgeous set of towns, it’s a good combination,” he said. “What I’m going to bring to [the job] is passion, organization, dedication, structure, discipline, things of that nature.”
As far as coaching strategy, Schotland believes that all three phases of the game deserve equal attention to detail.
“Lots of coaches will say that they fall either on the offensive or defensive side of the ball and I like to emphasize again and again that there are three parts. There’s offense, there’s defense, and there’s special teams. And lot’s of times special teams get neglected, which is a big problem,” he said. “People fight first down, second down, they’re fighting for four yards, but the punt is a 40-yard play. So, there are really three phases of the game.”
Schotland has met with the captains and most of the teams once, and will be meeting with them again today.
“The first thing I told them was how to pronounce my name,” he said smiling. He told the players that his goal is for them to have a great high school football experience, “and that means winning and trying to win.”
To Schotland, winning isn't everything but it is important.
“Obviously going 11-0 is great,” he said. “But if you’re really trying your hardest and you’re playing good football and you’re well coached and you’re playing hard, you’ll have a great experience, even though you’re going to lose some games here and there."
As a new head coach, Schotland is in charge of hiring a staff and putting together a strength and conditioning program. He believes that the core to a winning program is how conditioned a team is and how physically and mentally prepared they are, from top to bottom.
“From freshmen to seniors, stud or scrub, every kid is going to be coached,” said Schotland. “The cornerstone of being consistently competitive is lifting and so I’m meeting with the kids [today] and we’re going to lift.”
At this point, his inexperience at the head coaching level and coming to a new school are obstacles he will have to overcome.
“I coached in the Tri-Valley League for four years but that was three years ago, so I’ve got to get up to speed on what our opponents are doing,” he said.
Schotland played football in high school and at Amherst College. He said that his coaches and his yearning to help develop young boys in to men are what inspired him to coach.
“I had great coaches who really helped me and made it fun and I love the game...and the NFL was not calling,” he said laughing. “I’m not the kind of guy that can stay behind a desk all day, I’d get antsy and go nuts.”
From the stands during a game or on the sidelines at practice you may hear Schotland do his share of yelling on the field.
“I yell and scream quite a bit, but it’s almost always positive,” he said. “I realized years ago that if a wide receiver drops a football, you don’t have to yell at him. He knows he’s supposed to catch the football.”
“We’re going to do what works,” Schotland said. “What is going to work is what our kids can do, what suits their strengths. We want to play to their strengths and stay away from the weaknesses.”
A new era of Dover-Sherborn football is on the horizon, the coach and the players are hoping it shines bright.
Coach Schotland would like any parents or students to feel free to contact him with questions or comments. His cell phone number is 617-834-3350 and email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.