OGDEN -- If the Ben Lomond Scots are to have their first winning season since the turn of the millennium, first-year head coach, Bill Mierzejewski, just might be the man to get it done. Mierzejewski, who is the latest to pass through the revolving door of head coaches at B.L. that includes three in as many years and six since 2000, brings a new look and attitude on and off the field.
"What we're trying to do at Ben Lomond is build a reputation that these are good kids and that they don't have any more issues than normal high schoolers. My role is to give them something positive in their life and to change the culture around here," said Mierzejewski, who a year ago was coaching football at Kadena High in Okinawa, Japan, where he retired last fall.
"Last October I retired after more than 20 years in Okinawa and moved to Wyoming to care for my mother-in-law. In May I was contacted by Ben Smith (Ben Lomond principal) and asked if I'd be interested in applying for the opening they had here," said Mierzejewski. He did and the rest is history. Mierzejewski's coaching experience has taken him all over the world including stints in South Korea and the Philippines.
The Scots' fortunes are going to rely heavily on the success of the newly implemented Wing-T offense, but Mierzejewski is feeling good about their progress.
"You can't run that type of offense without a deceptive, intelligent quarterback and we have that in Austin Sullins. I was happy with what I saw at our Red and Blue game last week. They executed it well."
Fullback Alberto Garcilazo and tailback Braxton Chapman will also be key cogs in getting the B.L. offense rolling. "Braxton is pretty quick, intelligent and coachable. He is picking up the offense well especially where it comes to being deceptive. That is the biggest key to the success of the Wing-T," said Mierzejewski.
Defensively, the Scots will be running a 3-4 defense with their strength at linebacker led by Garcilazo and Mario Anderson. Nose guard Keith Holman who measures in at 6-foot-2 and tips the scales at 250 will give opponents fits.
"He (Holman) is a pretty tough kid. I think he's going to make a name for himself. Last year he was counted on too much, but this year he knows his role and he is fitting in quite well," said Mierzejewski. Holman will also see action on the offensive side of the ball at tackle.
"I feel really good about these kids. There's a lot of good talent out there. I have no doubt that we will be able to turn things around," said Mierzejewski.
The Scots will find out soon enough when they travel to Union Friday for their season opener. Union was one of two teams B.L. defeated last year.