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We're here at Tumwater High School talking with longtime T-Birds football coach Sid Otton. 10:58 Meg Wochnick: If anyone has any questions, fire them away at coach Otton.
10:59 Meg Wochnick: Otton has been Tumwater's football coach since 1974 and is the state's all-time wins leader with 336.
10:59 Comment From Westside4 Hey Coach,
10:59 Comment From Westside4 oops, Hey coach, how do you find the motivation year in and year out to continue doing what you do?
11:00 Comment From Sid Otton Hey.
11:01 Comment From Sid Otton I don't know. I enjoy very much the young people. They keep me young. A few keep me old. The game itself and the competitive nature, and the young people and the challenges of another season ... and my wife makes me do it.
11:01 Meg Wochnick: What's been the biggest change in your coaching style/philosophy since you started?
11:02 Comment From Sid Otton If you are talking long time ago, it is hard to remember. When I first came out, I probably had more enthusiasm. And when I first came out, it is all about the scoreboard and winning. As you coach longer, you find out there are more important things to do ... teaching lifelong principles. Otherwise, I do not think I have changed much. Not much
of a screamer. Be who you are.
11:02 Comment From TumH20fan Good morning... wondering what you and the boys are doing to prepare for tomorrow's big game?
11:04 Comment From Sid Otton A week ago, we did not have a good practice week. We came off a big Timberline win, and it showed in how we began the game. This week, we made a special point, we have to be super prepared. Football is not fun to practice, and it is a real challenge to get kids to buy into every practice and how important it is.
11:04 Meg Wochnick: Sid, takes us back to your first year at Tumwater in 1974 ...
11:07 Comment From Sid Otton First day of school, Timmy, our oldest - first day of kindergarten or first grade and mom and dad were not there. We were at the hospital because Tana was born. I did make it to school on time (on my first day). I remember the first group. There were 15 seniors. Seven or eight of them really bought into what we wanted to do. One of them is Randy Leeper, who is the middle school coach. Ones who really bought in were the freshmen - Bill Beattie and all of those guys when they became seniors, it was our first time at state. I remember those giuys, they were the pioneers and setting the stage. We constantly bring back the tradition of those people ... so they appreciate the pioneers of our program.
11:07 Comment From Sid Otton Our record was 4-5, 2-7 the next year and 1-8 the next year, so we were going the wrong direction.
11:08 Comment From Sid Otton Second year of the program, I tried for another job. We had a double levy failure, so I applied at Sunnyside. I did not get the job.
11:08 Comment From TumH20fan I've come and watched your last two home games and your QB seems to have an amazing arm, do you think we will see more from him in the future? More shotgun passes? He's good on his feet too, great pick Sid!
11:09 Comment From Sid Otton If I ran him more, i would get in trouble from his mother. :) ... He is an athletic kid, and he allows us to have a four-back attack as we develop that position.
11:09 Comment From tbird fan Are there one or two teams that stand out in your mind as the best you ever coached? Also, are there any players that stand out as the best (besides the obvious one....Brad)?
11:11 Comment From Sid Otton That is tough. I cannot pick one or two, but I will start with the 1977 team that I just mentioned. The best team we have ever had was our 1989 team. They never felt like they had a chance to compete really during the season ... but we were 13-0 and we wanted to wait for the winner of the next classification state championship team. Gurnsey ... was probably the best all-around player we have ever had. Others were close.
11:11 Comment From 40yd line fan One of your grandsons plays youth football in the 7/8 year old division, I hear it's quite an entertaining team that's been featured on Eric's Little Hero's. What's your take on that squad?
11:13 Comment From Sid Otton Just super enjoyable squad to watch. The guy who coaches him is Derek Lowe. They were all fast guys, and their kids are as fast as their fathers.
11:13 Meg Wochnick: Sid, the evolution of risk management and what you do. How has it changed over the years? It seems like there's more paperwork than ever before. ...
11:15 Comment From Go Bears Coach, how much has your offense changed since you switched to the Wing-T in the mid 80's?
11:17 Comment From Sid Otton I think about my second year at Coupeville and I did not like the color of the helmets, so I wanted to change the colors. I wanted to take a pain remover to see what it looked like. He put it on every helmet, and went inside the helmets. I tookl those helmets to my dad's in Idaho, and we sanded them down and took that protective layer off. Nowadays, you would not touch that stuff. First part of the career, we outfitted the kids. Now we have helmet checks every Thursday and all of those kinds of things, and now there is the good law that protects kids with concussions.
11:18 Meg Wochnick: Sid's previous answer was regarding the risk management question ...
11:18 Comment From Sid Otton As far the offense, we ran the traditionl Wing-T. We stikl have those plays. Now we run more formations and we run rocket sweep. We still compliment it with wing-t plays.
11:18 Meg Wochnick: Have you ever given any serious thought to abandoning the wing-T for a passing-game based offense?
11:19 Comment From Sid Otton The wing-t has been very good to us - very good. It has been very good to bellevue. Research across the country, many have. and you have to prepare for it in a week's time.
11:20 Meg Wochnick: Was Vic Randall the best you've ever faced in the wing-T?
11:20 Comment From TumH2ofan I wanted to come get some T-Bird gear and wondering when and where I would do that?
11:21 Comment From Sid Otton best we have seen is archbishop. Two uyears ago, we had a playmaker in Warner. last year, we lost the playmaker, and ATM's scheme was very good.
11:21 Comment From Sid Otton it is in the asb office at the high school.
11:21 Meg Wochnick: How much have you studied Bellevue and the wing-T?
11:22 Comment From Sid Otton i looked at them this last year. Duane hatch was the coach at bellevue, so he ran it 4-5 years before us. he helped us get it started, and we played them in the playoffs once six years later, and got after them pretty well. ... what they are doing now is unreal. very impressive. they have very good players, but they are very impressive.
11:22 Comment From Westside4 I know it is early, but do you see the team making a deep run this postseason?
11:24 Comment From Sid Otton certainly we have our team goals and we establish them. certainly they are not small. but our whole thing of one step at a time ... i see it as a tremendous dogfight in our league. there are some tremendous teams that are playing very good right now.
11:24 Comment From Throwonedeep Coach, what's the common thread among the coaches in our state who coached football for a long time (you, Terry Ennis, Dick Armstrong, Bob Ames, etc.)?
11:25 Comment From Sid Otton a common thread, huh? imagine one is that we all developed tough skin. we all have been blessed with really good assistant coaches, and of course, great players. i don't know what else it would be. know bob well. knew dick. everyone was themselves. they coached their way.
11:25 Comment From Chickenbet If a young coach starting out asked you for one piece of advice, what would it be?
11:26 Comment From Sid Otton surround yourself with hard-working, loyal assistants. that would be it.
11:26 Comment From Miketoyofa Coach, what do you know about coaching now than, say, 20 years ago?
11:27 Comment From Sid Otton i forgot everything i knew 20 years ago. ... the biggest thing, parcells said if you are coaching with a yellow pad, and your opponent is coaching with a laptop, you are in trouble. that would be it - tried hard to stay up with the times, even though i type slow. having my son there really helps, but we do a lot with technoogy.
11:28 Comment From Football Fan What are your thoughts on the job Coach JD Johnson has done to return Capital HS to prominence?
11:29 Comment From Sid Otton he and his staff have done a great job. they are real hard-nosed, physical attitude about football. they play great defense. offense moves the chains, and they are just very sound.
11:29 Meg Wochnick: Sid, you were 22 when you started at Coupeville ... How would you do in today's setting at 22 years old?
11:30 Comment From Sid Otton it is a different story now - with facebook and twitter now. if a coach has a couple of bad years now, they will have a really hard time with that stuff and staying in the game.
11:30 Comment From Tumwater Student What was your inspiration for going no-huddle this year?
11:31 Comment From Sid Otton went to a clinic - go to a lot of clinics. listened to sherwood high in portland and they are wing-t. they went to it two years ago, and the upside of it, you can get so many more plays, not just in a game, but in practice. And, if you are the defensive coordinator, you don;'t have a lot of time to substitute or change his calls and so forth.
11:31 Comment From Snoozeinn Coach, when you go to a football game (Seahawks, Huskies, PLU, etc.) can you just watch it like any other fan or are you in "coach mode" where you're breaking the game down like a coach?
11:32 Comment From Sid Otton during the season, i don't go to many of those games because we are busy. when i get a chance, it is going to be college, and watching one of our kids play and enjoy it - like the johnsons at eastern, and kyle warner at plu last year. enjoy the college atmosphere. Edit Delete Entry
Comment From Snapped Coach, which attribute do you prize most in a player: Size, strength, speed, intelligence, coachability, commitment, leadership, discipline?
11:34 Comment From Sid Otton can i pick a couple? first it would start with the player - are they a team player? are they committed? willing to work? and then after that, all the other stuff comes into it - their speed. if you look at your team and pick your best five players, if they are your five hardest workers, then you have something very special.
11:34 Meg Wochnick: Sid, is there Tumwater game you've coached in that you wouldn't mind watching on tape another 100 times?
11:35 Comment From Sid Otton our whole staff, in 1993, we played newport of bellevue in a playoff game. they started off and were up 14-0 and were going to run all over us. our defense stopped them ... and we ended up makign a play in the end to beat them. as i say that, that is probably our memorable. that would be the game.
11:35 Comment From Westside4 Do you think the skill/physicality of athletes has changed much since you first began coaching?
11:36 Comment From Sid Otton sure. it is unbelievable. they jiust have access to so much weight training, and so many places they can go to get bigger, and stronger and faster. yeah.
11:36 Comment From guest what is your take on Capital? they have moved down and seem to be the team to beat in 2A. What are their strenghts and weaknesses?
11:37 Comment From Sid Otton if they were 3a, they would be no. 2 in the state. and if they were 4a, they would be no. 2 in the state. they are very, very solid high school football team.
11:37 Comment From ASL Coach, what's the one thing an average fan doesn't know about regarding what goes on during a game? I think fans don't understand how much chaos happens on the sideline with play calls,audibles, player management ...
11:39 Comment From Sid Otton kaarst brandsma, he was my offensive coordinator in the late 1970s when he first got out of college. his response to that question is - you do not know unless you have been there. when the clock is ticking you have 25 seconds and you are getting all this feedback and deciding the play to call and getting everything organized and not getting a flag for a penalty. we are striving as a coaching staff to be positive and be as organized as possible. never felt it was chaos. coaches are coaching. if we were foaming at the mouth, it would be pretty difficult for the player to perform.
11:39 Comment From tbird fan What is your most heartbreaking loss? (as a fan, mine was the playoff loss at Prosser in the early 90's)
11:42 Comment From Sid Otton mine would be 1979. it was a year i had to suspend 10 players, and the kids stayed banded together. so we were going to our last game and playing olympia. we win, and we get into a pigtail. we are ahead late in the game, by 4, i think. with four seconds to go, i was going to punt, and my punter came off, i told him, take the snap and run as fast as you can to the corner of the end zone to take a safety. we got talking, and thought the quarterback could take the snap and roll out, which he did. their nosetackle got to the quarterback, and we thought the game was over, but the referee ruled he was in the grasp. there was a second left, and olympia got the ball, ran a play and beat us - 26-24.
11:43 Meg Wochnick: A few more questions for coach Otton ...
11:43 Comment From Canitextstephanie Of all the teams you've faced, which opponent had the toughest offense and which team had the toughest defense you've gone against?
11:45 Comment From Sid Otton toughest offense - probably be lakes that beat us 56-54 or something like that in the playoffs. they had speed. toughest defense - been a lot of it. i thought olympia has done a nice job with their defense, and he does a nice job with them.
11:45 Comment From guest what is your take on the playoff system. there has been talk of going to a seeded playoff. are you for that or do you think it should stay the same as it is right now?
11:46 Comment From Sid Otton what we are doing is fine with me.
11:46 Comment From fan25 wondering why you don't insist on team weight room training after school? It seems like the stronger the boys are, the better the team will be. Weight training is not mandatory, correct?
11:47 Comment From Sid Otton it is not mandatory, but we insist to work in their schedule to take weight training during the day. first period, i have a athletic weighttraining class, which has 20-something football kids in it.
11:47 Comment From tbird fan Anything specific you're looking forward to doing in your post coaching life?
11:49 Comment From Sid Otton one is being with my wife. we might do things with our church. i am not a golfer. i used to like a fish, and maybe get the bug again. but i do not think my wife will fish with me. at that point, looking to being around my grandkids more and standing up in the stands and yelling to get the coach out of there :)
11:49 Comment From guest Thank you so much Coach for all the years of dedication and hard work, you have made a difference in so many young men's lives. You
have had a great impact on our little town!
11:49 Meg Wochnick: All right, everyone. We've run out of time with coach Otton for the day. THANK YOU SO MUCH for joining in. Coach Otton had fun with this. We will be back next week!
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