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The MIHS Islander

The Student News Site of Mercer Island High School

The MIHS Islander

The Student News Site of Mercer Island High School

The MIHS Islander

MIHS Football’s Expectations for the Fall Season

MIHS Football

The MIHS Football team is preparing for, as head coach DJ Mims so eloquently put, their revenge season, in 2023. With the change of coaches at the beginning of the season, MIHS Football hopes to turn the tides in their favor and come out of next year with a winning season. 

Among changes to their program, the coaches have implemented morning workouts, starting at 6:oo AM on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I took it upon myself to investigate their new coaching strategies, as well as how the players are adapting to it (I wasn’t forced by DJ Mims at all).

Bright and early on a Friday morning, I stood leaning on the fence of the stadium by myself (because, ever the honest man, DJ was absent from practice – despite promising to be there).

I suppose after all I should have known (As an undisclosed player slipped to me, Coach Mims never comes to morning workouts anyway).

It was bright and early, the birds were chirping, etc — but the loudest sound of all was the harmonious sound of Coach DV’s soothing voice shouting out encouragement to the players.

“Alright, pick it up boys!” he shouted once.

“Why are we walking?” he asked another time.

“Hug each other!” he exclaimed. 

“I feel good!” he added as the boys were running their laps.

The boys were equally as enthusiastic about their practice.

“Come on Zach!” a player shouted.

“I thought we were done already,” another said.

Soon after, practice wrapped and the players broke their huddle. 

So, suffice to say, 6:00 AM practice was rather uneventful, except for an amusing post-practice exchange I caught a hold of.

Why don’t we all sign a football agreement that we can all swear?” Spencer Kornblum said.

I’m literally gonna swear right now, GOSH DARN IT!” Cole Rowe added.

Your parents would sue us,” DV replied.

Luckily for me, the team had an additional practice the next day, 10 AM to 12 PM.

So once again, I arrived to practice bright and early (this time with a camera and sunglasses in hand). 

It was a much more lively event, with more players and nearly all the coaches present. 

The two hours passed by in a blur; lots of pictures, lots of (over) confident players, lots of DV’s shouts — Vic looking at the camera one too many times as someone who should have been coaching his players.

Once practice wrapped, I was fortunately able to catch an interview with DV (after refusing to be interviewed the day before — “ask me again when we win some games”).

“Our program is really built around them lasting…injury prevention, because last year we had a lot of injuries because guys weren’t committed to the weight room,” DV said. “If you’re committed to the weight room you’re gonna improve.” 

“They’ve greatly improved [this spring],” DV said. “This last off-season is picking up and [our goal] is playoffs for sure.”

Coach Chambers echoed similar thoughts to DV, though had a much more negative attitude when speaking on his expectations versus realities of the spring offseason.

“I know we had a big senior class and a lot more people that played varsity last year so we expect to be better,” Chambers said. “[I] guess [I] just expected more guys to come to the weight room and put work in [during the off-season].”

“We have a core group of guys that did do a good job of showing up but there were a lot of people I expected to show up that didn’t,” he continued.

So, the million-dollar question: how will the team perform next season?

Unfortunately, despite the hours at practice and sitting in on team meetings, I don’t have much to say on this topic. The boys seemed like they were working hard. DJ is a little low energy during these meetings, so I applaud these boys for staying awake. DV is a pretty funny guy. Coach Joe (although I never spoke to him) gives off good vibes, so suffice it to say, the linebackers are in good hands. Coach Chambers is a little shy, but I cracked him eventually. For all the future MI Alumni that ever feel inspired to return, just know if you want to be a Mercer Island football coach, you’re required to own a bucket hat. And always remember, if DJ promises you something, don’t believe him.

202“I’m excited for the season [ahead] because of the work they’ve been putting in,” DV said. “This is a good first day and I think we’ll have more kids out here next Saturday.”

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About the Contributor
Tiffany Zhang
Tiffany Zhang, Features & Sports Team
Tiffany Zhang is a senior at MIHS and in her second year of journalism. She is currently a member of the Features Team and the Sports Team and has served as a staff writer in the past. In her free time, Tiffany enjoys reading, thrifting, and watching Formula 1 races.

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    Jordan BalousekJul 5, 2023 at 2:05 pm

    Tiffany this is incredible as always…. Sports Illustrated feature!