BOLIVAR – Woodrow Lowe Jr. knows it takes different motivational factors at different times to motivate kids in a school to come out for football.
He may have found what works for Bolivar High football in 2015.
After a few years of mediocre years on the field with not much to show for it on National Signing Day when sending student-athletes to college, things are already showing a difference in the Hardeman County school.
“I know it’s helped us this year,” said Lowe about sending seven 2015 Tiger graduates to college. “It becomes a reality when the kids see something like that.
“Seeing a lot of kids signing in a big signing day like that after not having many signed changes the kids’ perceptions of the program. It gets the kids to talking and can ultimately be a life-changer for them.”
More kids are signing up for the opportunity to put themselves in that position. The Tigers have more than 90 kids showing up for workouts in all four high school classes.
That’s a stark contrast from this time a year ago when Lowe went into his first dead period as the Tigers’ head coach with about 40 kids with a big senior class.
“It’s a good problem to have. I won’t lie about that,” Lowe said with a laugh. “But now we’re trying to create opportunities for the kids to put themselves out there and gain valuable experience.”
Bolivar will field a freshman team this year along with junior varsity, and Lowe said he hopes the time under lights – even if it’s not on Friday night with a couple thousand people in the stands – will become valuable teaching tools for the younger Tigers.
The older Tigers are getting valuable learning opportunities as well as Lowe set a new standard for the coaching staff this summer.
“If our kids wanted to attend a college camp or combine, we’re giving them that opportunity and requiring each coach on our staff to go to one,” Lowe said. “This helps the kids see bigger things than what they’re used to here.
“We got great support from the school and administration and [Bolivar High athletic director Rick Rudesill] to do this as well, and everybody’s on board with it.”
Bolivar football players have attended or will attend camps at Ole Miss, Middle Tennessee State, Memphis, (National Underclassmen Combine), Rivals.com, UT Martin and Arkansas State.
“Our guys get a chance to see what their competition for college scholarships is like, and maybe it will motivate them to be better at what they do when they see the caliber of athletes they’re up against,” Lowe said. But most importantly, it puts our guys in front of the eyes of the people who could get them in position to fulfill their dreams of playing college football and provide a better life for themselves.
“That’s really at the heart of why we’re doing this. Hopefully it will work.”
Brandon Shields, 425-9751