Bayless High School’s athletic field has never before heard pads clashing. But this year you hear it everyday. Along with the voice of Bayless Football’s Head Coach, Dan Borkowski.
“As I tell the kids, this is a process. It doesn’t matter where we start or how we start. It’s about where we finish in four years,” Borkowski says.
That’s because he is coaching freshman football. In this week’s High School Sports Spotlight we highlight the first Bronchos football team in school history.
“It is a great time to be Broncho here at Bayless,” Superintendent Ron Tucker says. “We had our first football game and over 12,000 opted attend.”
Borkowski’s plan was to retire this year after coaching Bishop DuBourg High School to the District Finals and one of the best finishes in school history. But Bayless Athletic Director Patrick Triplett gave him a different idea.
“We have a lot of guys who want to coach, but don’t know how to coach. So not only is he teaching the players, but he is coaching the coaches,” Triplett says. “I think I told him that was one of the reasons I wanted him, was because when he steps away from the game, one of the guys he is teaching right now, is going to step in and take over as head coach. So if you want to try and be the best you try to bring the best in.”
Borkowski delayed his retirement an extra year to mold not only 14 and 15 kids who have never played organized football, but also to teach an entire staff how to run a football team.
“Well the first thing for me was to get to know the kids. My first meeting with the staff was ‘What are we gonna run on offense, what are we gonna do on defense’ I just calmly said ‘well first of all we need to relax because I’ve never seen these kids participate in athletics. I don’t know what their abilities are I don’t know what their personalities are. I don’t know what their character is. So I said ‘give me a couple weeks to learn their names, find out who can run and who can’t, who can block and who can’t,'” Borkowski explains.
“It’s always a challenge when you get a bunch of kids that have never played the game before. The desire is there so that makes it a little bit easier,” Borkowski says. “I am having a blast because I love trying to teach young kids how to play the game. Because without the game I’m not sure where I would be, and I’m sure Coach Triplett would probably share the same sentiments. But I love the game, I’ve been playing it since I was 7-years-old, so lets say about 53-54 years now.”
Even though Borkowski doesn’t plan to return next year, the program seems to be in good hands.
“We have 30 freshman in the program. Even if I lose 10, we’ll still have 20, but we’ll get 30 more freshman to have 50. Then by the time they are juniors. we eventually want to have the freshman variety and JV program,” Triplett says. “I think in about three or four years Bayless is going to be the place to be at.”