Kyle Wood takes over as East Newton prepares for new season

Sports Connection

GRANBY, MO — There’s a new head coach leading the East Newton football team, but he’s one that’s very familiar with the area, especially the Big 8 West Conference.

Kyle Wood spent last season at Neosho, but spent 12 years coaching at both Cassville, where he was part of two state championship teams, and Monett, who won it all in 2016.

Now he takes over a team that enters the season on a 22 game losing streak, but Wood believes the path to success first comes with changing the team attitude and culture.

There may be hiccups along the way, but Wood said he wants his players to focus on they things they can control.

“Just changing our effort, changing our attitude,” Wood said. “I want them to have as much fun as possible, let me coach, let me fix things that need to be fixed and they can just concentrate on playing with their buddies and getting after it.”

Wood said his seniors have bought into the new philosophy. Seniors Sam Stewart and Ryan Millett said seeing their coaches impressive resume spurred the players into action.

“We looked at his resume and we were all working hard instantly. We’ve all kind of been, since (Jamie) LaSalle, we’ve all been praying for someone like LaSalle and you know I think we got someone just like him,” Stewart said.

“I think the team was really excited because we’ve all heard really good things about coach and everyone is just real excited to get pumped up and get the season going,” Millett added.

The Patriots open their season at home August 30 against Hollister.

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