Highland Hawks Thriving Under New Leadership of Farrel
September 11, 2017 by Bella Sisneros , Arizona State University
The Friday night lights are shining down on the Highland Hawks as they start 4-0 under new head coach Brock Farrel.
“It’s a fun place to be and I’m having a ball. I don’t know if anyone else is but I’m having a blast,” Farrel said.
Before coming to Highland, Farrel spent three seasons at Shadow Mountain where he broke nine school records and had an overall record of 12-18.
“I tried some things at Shadow Mountain that just weren’t apart of their culture and quite frankly didn’t work but it was worth trying and by the time I figured out how to mesh that high school and those group of kids with what I wanted to do was year three and that’s where we started doing some good things,” Farrel said. “And even if year two we started figuring it out a little bit and even though we were 4-6, we competed really well.”
Farrel is already embracing the vibe the vibe of the new team under his command and working with the players to create goals that work for them.
The Hawks, along with Farrel and the rest of the coaching staff, created three goals for this season.
They wanted to win their first game, which they did against Corona del Sol 29-13. Second, they want to beat every team in the Gilbert district to become the best team in Gilbert. This is a work in progress as the Hawks are just getting into the meat of their season. Highland also wants to win its very last game.
“Depending when our last game is, who knows but we thought those were good team goals for this year based on where we were in the past and where we want to go,” Farrel said. “You know everybody says they want to win a state championship, but really we want to strive for being excellent in everything that we do and I truly believe that if we take care of us and if we are striving to do our best, when our best is required, that the wins will come.”
Farrel has experience being a part of storied program in the past and making four playoff appearances as an assistant coach at Chandler under coach Shaun Aguano.
“I learned a lot from being at Chandler and the biggest thing about being around Chandler is that you get around that championship expectation environment where the kids just expect to play well. There is no doubt that they are going to compete, they’re not waiting for something bad to happen they’re waiting for someone to break out. It’s just a different mindset and think bringing that with me has helped,” Farrel said.
Farrel stressed that it isn’t just him and the coaching staff that is making the season thus far great, but that the players and students have made a big impact.
“I love this place around here. The players are all in. They love the game and they want to be great. You know they find ways to get better and they want to be the best that it could be,” Farrel said.
Farrel expressed that he wants to instill a lot of energy and passion in what the team is doing and this was echoed by players.
“There is so much more energy which I think is a big factor because if we come out and play flat, we’d just get our butts kicked so we come out with a lot of energy, he brings the energy and we are able to just go out and do what he tells us to do,” said Kohner Cullimore, junior running back. “We have so much trust in him and we just go out and play and it’s working out good.”
The mention of the energy that Farrel brings to the team only increased as players spoke of Farrel.
“I think the team has a changed a lot because he brings a lot of energy and you know we all bond around energy and we all feed off of him so it helps us a lot when winning games and during practice keep the intensity up and it helps us a lot,” said kicker Austin McNamara.
This Friday, Farrel and the Hawks look to improve to 5-0 as they take on Westview in their non-region homecoming game.