Skaneateles After 14 years of various assistant coaching positions in high school football, Mike Olley wanted to have some time to enjoy his long-awaited chance to take over as head coach of a varsity program at Skaneateles.
He just didn’t have time.
Hired in June after Joe Sindoni left to take over the floundering program at Cicero-North Syracuse, Olley crammed what is normally eight months of off-season preparation into two in order to be ready when practices for the 2013 season commenced on Aug. 19.
He said the work has gone “seven days a week”, ranging from the program’s annual summer camp to seven-on-seven drills the team has made an off-season staple to work in the weight room.
“The speed with which we had to get everything done is both good and bad,” said Olley. “It was a whirlwind, but it was fun and very cool.”
What Olley inherits is something very different from what Skaneateles possessed just a few seasons ago. A 19-1 mark over the last two years, and a Section III Class C championship in 2012 (the program’s first in 20 years), tends to change expectations a bit.
Olley is the Lakers’ fourth varsity coach in five years, but he isn’t burdened with the responsibility of building up a long-time loser, or cleaning up following rampant off-the-field controversy.
Instead, Olley seeks to benefit from a strong system already in place. He made it clear that he has no intention of touching the spread-formation, pass-happy offense that smashed all of the school’s record books with Troy Green and Conor Herr at quarterback.
“It makes more sense to adapt my style of coaching than the other way around,” he said. “This style was so effective (in recent years). Why not keep it?”
To succeed Herr under center, the Lakers turn to senior Tyler Parr, who waited his turn and now finally get his chance. At 6-0 and 200 pounds, Parr, said Olley, possesses a strong arm, a must in this system, given how often Skaneateles will pass the ball.