The Rob Genco era begins tonight for the Dunkirk Marauders as they travel to Pioneer for the season opener of the high school football season.
After taking over just a few weeks ago, Genco's dream of becoming a head coach becomes a reality tonight.
"It's something I have always wanted," he said. "I haven't slept the past couple nights. I wake up thinking about football and the kids. You ask yourself, 'Am I coaching it the way I coach? What is it like to play for me? What do my assistant coaches think? Are they liking the way I coach and like coaching with me?' Those are questions I ask so I can be a better coach. I have never wanted easy. I am loving it and I can't wait for (tonight)."
Genco described his team's offense as an air-raid offense with multiple sets and the defense will be playing a 4-3 style. A big benefit for Dunkirk will be the fact other teams have not seen its style of play yet.
See DUNKIRK, Page B3
"These kids have had to learn a lot and they have done a great job learning the material we have thrown at them," he said. "No one knows what we are doing or running. But, it doesn't matter if your guys don't execute it."
The Panthers are coming off an impressive 8-1 record while Dunkirk finished just 2-6 last year. However, the Panthers have graduated nine of the 11 offensive players.
"They are well coached," Genco noted. "They don't do much, but what they do, they do really well. Teams that are traditionally good, that's their formula. It's simple and effective. They don't mess up a block or misfire. They are tough. They know what they are doing. They are going to plug new guys in and run the same offense."
Genco hopes his philosophy and coaching style brings wins to the maroon and white.
"I don't know what the fans saw last year, but I do know the way we do it now and hopefully when the fans leave here, they will say, That group of guys are a classy, well-coached team with a bunch of great kids,'" Genco said. "And hopefully we display that with our character, sportsmanship and play on the field. I hope they leave here knowing our kids are good young men. After that, I hope they leave saying, That's a dang good football team. And that comes for wins."
"I told the guys it's the first time I will see them with live bullets," Genco continued. "I care about them already. This is a good group of kids I really like them. It's neat being here. Silver Creek is a smaller team. Here, you have 36 kids - 36 different kids and 36 different characters. I will have the butterflies just like the kids. Just like them, I have to stay focused. (Tonight) we will know who are players and who aren't."