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Homer hopes for permanent change

Homer's new coach Josh Willeford aims to change the culture of Pelican football

HOMER, La - The only consistency the Homer senior class knows is inconsistency when it comes to football coaches.

"It's been frustrating," Derrick Banks, Homer Sr. Safety, said. "When you try to get used to the same coach and build a relationship....next thing you know they're gone."

Homer's had four coaches in four years, and in 2013 they'll have another new face to lead the team, as Josh Willeford takes over the Pelican's historic football program.

Homer is Willeford's first head coaching gig, but he's familiar with Northwest Lousiana. His first coaching job was as an assistant at arch-rival Haynesville.  

"Hopefully I cannot necessarily mirror them," Willeford said. "But bring the good parts, bring a little twist to it, and have as much success as them."

Prior to Homer, Willeford served as an assistant at Jonesboro-Hodge.

"It's been a lifelong dream to run my own program and I've finally got the chance here in Homer."

Willeford's first order of business is a new weight program and added structure to an unstable program. 

"What I'd like is a consistency where they're here year round. We're turning our seventh hour athletic block into a seventh hour strength and conditioning program. Whoever is an athlete will come and lift with us year round. That will help us to build relationships with the athletes."

The first-year head coach is shopping for a defensive coordinator before the season starts, with the hopes of installing a 4-3 attack. 

On offense, Willeford's going with the spread offense to highlight a speedy roster that features tailback Ryan Cooper, who is receiving  offers from Grambling St., Louisiana Tech, Arkansas St., ULL, and NSU.

"It's been challenging," Cooper said. "It's more fun to play and since this is my last year I just want to have fun."

Homer opens the season at Farmerville on Sept. 6th.

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