Cranford High School football coach Erik Rosenmeier has accomplished something that no other coach in the history of Cougars football has done: he's led the varsity football team to an unprecedented 6-0 season, beating the Rahway Indians for the first time in 14 years. Now in his seventh season at the helm, the coach said earlier this season that he believed his squad had a shot at the playoffs if they managed to stay healthy. So far, the team seems to be well on its way. Cranford last made the playoffs in 2004, the year before Rosenmeier took over. The lone Cougar playoff victory came in 2003.
Cranford Patch asked the coach a few questions about his team, coaching style and goals for the future.
What's the best advice you can give to your players?
I tell them to realize what they are experiencing while they are experiencing it. Too many times we rush through the good times in life trying to get to the next thing and realize too late that what we just experienced was really great. Also, take nothing for granted- Not your team, your teammates or your opponent. Time is always ticking: time is precious. Practice ever practice,play every play. we all only get so many snaps.
Rosenmeier also tell the players, "it is not about you." Young people and people in general are very self-centered and selfish. Football in particular and life in general doesn't or shouldn't work that way. I remind them that their teammates and coaches are counting on them and they have a responsibility to do what is best for the team.
What do you say to your team during halftime if they've had a rough first half?
I always remind them that they must go back and do what they have been coached to do, the way they were coached to do it. I tell them to stick together, keep working and things will turn around.
What has been your greatest moment as a Cranford Cougars coach?
We are in the middle of it. We're 6-0 for the first time in school history and more games to play. I am looking forward to seeing what this team can become.
What three professional athletes would you most like to meet and why?
I have no interest in meeting any professional athlete. If I am going to spend time away from my team, staff or family it is not going to be with people I don't know even if they are professional athletes. Instead I'd like to hear some of the great coaches speak about their coaching philosophy as well as X's and O's. Legends like Lombardi, Landry, Paterno or Bryant or maybe innovators in the option game like Bill Yoeman, Paul Johnson or Urban Meyer.
What is your ultimate goal for this season?
We have many goals every season. They always in some basics like team unity and getting better every day. We take these goals very seriously and feel if we achieve them then other goals are possible. These include winning our first game and competing for a conference and state championship.
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