Andover Central and head coach Derek Tuttle finished the season 11-1 and the Class 4A state runner-up. For coach Tuttle, the season was certainly one to remember.
“I was amazed and humbled by the amount of support, energy, and enthusiasm our program was able to establish this year,” said Tuttle. “The way our coaches and players worked together for our common goals was especially gratifying, and that team work made for an enjoyable and memorable journey. I’m especially thankful for how our coaches and seniors bought into the changes and modifications we made for our program.”
Looking back on season, coach Tuttle said the journey to an 11-1 record was not an easy one.
“The season was not easy by any stretch of the imagination. We play in a tough league, and our playoff run included some outstanding programs. I’m excited about how this year’s team played fast and aggressively on the field, and that level of play helped us be successful in the long run,” Tuttle told VYPE.
Several memorable moments stand out for coach Tuttle and the staff.
“These seniors broke many school records, including the most wins ever in our program’s history (11). But I was most impressed by the high expectations, the leadership, and the determination they displayed each week on and off the field. That led to us improving steadily each week. We talk more about life lessons than about wins/losses, so when a group buys into those values, it is special,” said Tuttle.
Every coach has a mentor. Someone they can call on during a long, but successful season like the one Andover Central experienced this year. For coach Tuttle, he relies on several friends and colleagues.
“In years past, I have always asked and learned from coach Tom Audley, our program’s head coach for 17 years, and someone I worked under for 21 years,” said Tuttle. “Football coaches work in an amazing profession. I talk to a lot of other coaches, including guys in our league to coach Lee Weber (Rose Hill HC), an old high school teammate of mine, and to coach Linn Hibbs (Winfield HC), and many others. Coaches are very competitive on Friday nights, but off the field, we all want to learn from one another and to grow professionally.”
Looking ahead, Andover Central has a lot to be excited about, but coach Tuttle is excited about the culture that is growing within the walls of Andover Central.
“We have improvements to make. We set a solid foundation for the type of play and culture we want to have in our system, and our coaches and players are excited about the future,” Tuttle said.