WEST ALEXANDRIA — Twin Valley South is welcoming in Clint Bartlett as the new head football coach for the Panthers’ football program. He inherits a tradition-rich program which went 6-4 last season and figures to be a force of reckoning in the Cross County Conference.
Bartlett brings with him a young, yet experienced, background in football to the Panthers. He got his first start in coaching at Dayton Carroll in 2007 as an assistant. His next stint in coaching led him to Beavercreek as an offensive coordinator from 2008 to 2010. In 2011, he led the offense at Miami Trace at Washington Courthouse for three years until he became a head coach last year at Oakwood.
“I grew up in football family, my father was in coaching for over 30 years,” Bartlett said. “I learned under him and we’ve had such a wonderful lifestyle in football because of it. I played at Dayton Carroll. I was a part of a program during my four years in which I’ve seen four straight years in the playoffs, played for teams which earned two regional championships and two conference titles. So, I’ve known success for a long time and wish to continue that success here at Twin Valley.”
“I plan to bring in a smashmouth style of football — I have nothing to hide about our style, so I’m proud to say that we will be running a split-veer formation,” Bartlett said. “We are going to line up and come right at you. Our motto will be, ‘we work hard and outwork the opponents.’ Defensively, we run the 4-3, will keep it simple and stay with it, and work hard. We don’t have to be that fancy in high school football to win.
“We have a great group of kids,” he added. “They have been working hard, very hard, and that work ethic will carry over when the season begins. We start in July, and I’ve seen some films of last season’s games so I have a pretty good idea about the talent I have coming back. We have about 12 seniors that should be coming back, and all of them are being good leaders and setting good examples for the kids.”
The first game of the season will be against the Dixie Greyhounds from the SWBL.
“Dixie is week one and we are focused on them first and foremost,” Bartlett commented. “We need to focus on one game at a time. We look at Tri-County North, who is our rival, and a potentially interesting game against Covington with (former Twin Valley South) coach Cates. I have tremendous respect for Cates and this game could be quite interesting for us.”
For his supporting staff, Bartlett keeps a number of assistants from last season, along with a batch of newcomers he brings in from Oakwood. Eric Wolfe will stay on as defensive coordinator, and Pat Shockey returns to work with backs and receivers. Patrick Couch is also a holdover from last year — he will coach the offensive and defensive lines.
Bartlett brings in his older brother Nick Bartlett, and James Coleman. Coleman has coached for many years — he played some at Notre Dame and at Unversity of Dayton.
Twin Valley South has an active schedule before the season begins. The Lift-a-Thon is scheduled for June 18, as a fundraiser where the kids will max out on their core lifts. July 11-22 will begin camp and operate Monday through Friday. July 20 is 7-on-7 at Eaton, with a number of other area schools attending to participate in this scrimmage event. Aug. 1 begins two-a-day practices, and Aug. 5 is the ever-popular “Midnight Hits.”
“We are hitting the ground running. It’s tough to do much with the state regulations, but we do what we can,” Bartlett said.
Coach Bartlett had a lot of positives to share about the environment in West Alexandria. “The first thing I noticed here was the tremendous support from the administriation. Dr Moore, Mr. Augsberger — been very supportive. The community has been awesome. The transition has been smooth and with the new facilities and upgrades, I’m excited.”
Reach Oliver Sanders at 937-683-4062