Coach Blevins Named Berens Coach of the Year for D-2
Article Taken from HuskerLand Prep's Bob Jensen
Congratulations to Lawrence/Nelson Head Football Coach Brian Blevins who has been named the Berens Coaching Award winner for Class D-2 after leading his team to the state playoff semifinals. The article below is taken from HuskerLand Prep's Bob Jensen...
It was, in the words of head coach Brian Blevins, a long ride home.
His Lawrence-Nelson team had just been shelled by Kenesaw, 60-12, and was looking a record of 2-3 straight in the eye. Not much was going right for the Raiders, not right about then anyway.
From that point forward though Lawrence-Nelson got on a serious roll, winning six straight games to advance to the Class D-2 state semifinals. All that winning, and righting the ship, helps make Blevins our Class D-2 Berens Coaching Award winner.
“Following that Kenesaw loss was the turning point to our season,” says Coach Blevins. “We had just gotten whooped, we were sitting at 2-3, we had multiple injuries, our moral was low, and our confidence was shaken. It would have been so easy for our boys to cash it in, to accept our season for what it was but they didn’t.
“That following Monday we didn’t even practice, we just met as a team and talked, and that talk became the turning point of our season. The character, resiliency, and culture of our athletes, in my opinion, is what makes us successful. They identified what they wanted, embraced their current adversity, and came together as a team more than any I had coached previously. As you said in a previous article, “Raider Football is Special.”
(Writers just love it when their work is quoted back to them. Thanks Coach Blevins...)
As only the No. 11 seed in the west bracket the Raiders upset No. 6 Wauneta-Palisade, 38-8, before scoring an impressive comeback, 33-30 win over Clearwater/Orchard. The following week the Raiders proved they had worked their way back from the darkness, avenging that earlier loss to Kenesaw, 28-12. Lawrence-Nelson lost a hard-fought 36-24 decision at unbeaten Mullen in the semifinals to finish 8-4.
“There was a lot of excitement and anticipation surrounded our program heading into this season. Although qualifying for the (2017) quarterfinals was a great accomplishment, it really left our boys wanting more and motivated for the season to start,” says Coach Blevins. “We knew that our grueling schedule and lack of numbers were going to make achieving our goals a very daunting task. During the summer and into pre-season we constantly preached to our kids, ‘leave each day better then it begun.’ That mantra carried into the season and I feel we became a better team after every game we played.”
All the winning, especially the postseason winning when his team turned Class D-2 football on its ear, was a lot of fun but not the only fun, nor satisfaction, Coach Blevins draws from the game.
“When I was just beginning my coaching career my dad once told me you can’t base all your success off wins and losses. It’s about the little things, the memories along the way. In taking this advice I have been blessed with such many great successes. We have been fortunate this year, and in years prior, to win a lot of games but all the great memories and opportunities I got to share in with our team this year far outweigh final scores.
“Each year, each season, is a journey and this year's was a great one.”
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