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Golden Eagles working with the Buddy System in 2002 Camp

You hear all the slogans, there is no I in team… the road to winning starts with us…, but this year at Football camp, Tyrone football coach John Franco is doing something different. He has started a buddy system.
This system is used in many places. It is called a mentor system in the work place, you have your Ranger buddy in the military. It brings people closer together and also has someone with experience giving guidance to a newcomer.
“It came about because we have so many sophomores on the team this year,” said Franco. “They are going to play a large role on the team this year and we need to get to know them. The sophomores and the upperclassmen needed to get to know each other.”
By watching practice, you can see where it is working. You see Blake Cowfer working with his buddy Terry Tate on the offensive line. Cowfer was a starter on the offensive and defensive line last year, and Tate is expected to contribute this season as a sophomore.
Junior receiver Tommy Crowl learned a lot about his buddy, Tad Chamberlain.
“I learned that his name is really Alton Francis Chamberlain IV,” said Crowl. “He’s almost 6-5 so he is my big little buddy. He’s a good guy and we’ve started to get to know each other better and when I can help him with stuff in practice I do so.”
Sophomore quarterback Brandon Maceno is buddied up with junior Bill Schreckengost.
“This has helped me,” said Maceno. “Bill has been through the camp and he plays the same position on offense I do. He helps me with plays and if I make a wrong read, he picks me up before the coaches do a lot.”
The Buddy system seems to be a hit with the kids.
“The kids kind of enjoyed it,” said Franco. “We’ve really had a lot of fun with it. We’ve goofed around with it, but it has accomplished its purpose. It brought the team closer together and it has made the younger guys feel more a part of this team.”
You could see the Buddy system at work in last Saturday’s scrimmage.
“We didn’t have them do that,” said Franco of the seniors helping out the underclassmen. “They did that on their own. We’ve told them that they have to take care of their buddies. They have to help them along. They have to really keep an eye out for them and help them along like a big brother does for the little brother. I think that probably typifies the relationship more than anything. It has been a real positive thing to bring our team closer together.”
After watching the kids at the scrimmage on Saturday, Franco was pleased with his experiment.
“I was real pleased,” said Franco. “These are the little things that you need to do to develop a team. I was really pleased to see that. This group has been fun to be around. They are really coachable and enjoy what they are doing here and having fun playing football. Nothing they do surprises me anymore. They are doing everything they can to make this team as good as it possibly can be. If it means helping their buddy out and getting to know them better to help make this team closer, they are willing to do that.”
You can see the closeness of this squad in person, Thursday at Meet The Eagles night at Gray Veterans Memorial Field. The festivities start at 7 p.m.