Weiner has been hired to take the place of recently released coach Bob Howell. Weiner is starting the training season in March with a sign up roster of approximately 101 boys. He speculates that after "boot camp" (a rigorous summer training the boys attend), he will end up with about 85-90 players. Weiner stated that he does not think the team will have set numbers. He will dress out as many players as he has.
Weiner has quite a different approach to the football program than most may be accustomed to. At his former position he ran a "Christ centered program", and added that the same values will carry over from his former job. "I want our program to make these kids morally, mentally and physically better. I want them to be champions, not just on the field, but in the classrooms, at home, church, where-ever they are at. I want them to have faith in everything they do. I want them to exceed at everything," said Weiner.
Weiner stated how important he thinks academics are. He commented that he intends to impress upon his players the importance of paying attention in class. "I understand that not all senior football players are going to college on athletic scholarships. So it is very important for our players to keep good grades," stated Weiner. He intends to try to raise those standards and bring up the players' scores.
Weiner goes by a motto that he tells to his players, "If you want to have, you have to do and in order to do you have to be!" He explained that if these young men want to play they have to understand that the program is looking for three specific expectations. 1 - The player must want to be the very best person they can, as far as personality and character. 2 - They must want to be part of something great. They must understand the concept of teamwork. 3 - Each player must be the best football player he can be at whatever he does. He also explained that he wants them to be involved in other sports when they are not involved with football. He feels that the students that are active in sports and teamwork will benefit from this in many ways.
"I'm not going to stand up here and say that football is not a priority. We want to win, and we are not going to apologize for that," said Weiner.
He stated that he doesn't necessarily want his success measured by games won or lost, but by how his athlete perform and how they turn out as people through the program he want to create as the new coach. He stated that, "Yes! I want us to win championships, don't get me wrong."
Weiner voiced how appreciative he was to be able to speak to the Rotary Club. "I am excited to have this opportunity. My main focus is to form a relationship with the people of Zachary. Also I would like to bring leaders to our program. Individuals that can spend time with our young men. They are after all our future leaders. I would like also to get our players involved in community service," stated Weiner.
Weiner boasted that Zachary High has one of the best athletic facilities in the state. "I have alot of respect for the community because without their support, it (the facility) would not be what it is. I feel that we have the right people in the right places doing what they need to do to help us," he said.
When asked about staffing changes, Weiner responded, "Our coaching staff is just about set. I am expecting our coaches to be men of character and integrity. There is the possibility of new men on the staff. However, I want good people, men that will be good role models and help the young men mentally as well."
Weiner and his wife, Whitney and their children Matthew and Abigail just relocated here. Weiner is the former Central Assistant Football Coach. He was also the offensive coordinator at Central. He also served as head coach at Catholic-Pointe Coupee from '04-'07.
In closing Weiner assured everyone that his door would always be open to everyone.
In other Rotary Club news:
• The club has announced that they are responsible for a bench and drinking fountain on the walking trail that parallels Old Scenic Highway, from the intersection with Church Street north to the Plains. The drinking fountain, however, was in need of a "flush valve" to produce good, fresh drinking water. The valve has been order and the city has agreed to installed it when it arrives.