From the time Lyn Darrell took clear creek to 10 playoff appearances between 1982 and 1999 and today, the Golddiggers have been in a downward spiral. We spoke with current head coach Brian Inman and former coach Darrell on why this has happened and what it will take to get the team back on track:
1: WHY HAS THE TEAM STRUGGLED SINCE MAKING THE PLAYOFFS FOR THE LAST TIME IN 1999?
“Maybe they got away from the discipline. We were big in putting academics first, character first. The rest of the stuff will fall into place,” Darrell said.
“The weight room was something that was big when I was in school. The entire football team was in a weight-training class. We all lifted weight together in school during the offseason,” Inman said. “I think the kids are starting to realize that. They want to win. They’re getting tired of not being successful on the scoreboard.”
2: WHY WAS THE TEAM SO SUCCESSFUL IN THE 80s and 90s?
“Kids were very focused on football. Back then we didn’t have X-Boxes and computers. Typically, kids could be seen playing football in the front yard or at the park once school got out until they got called back in,” said Inman, who played for Darrell in the 1980s. “Back then it seemed like something that everyone, most of the boys did.”
“We had a good talent pool and hopefully they were coached well. They played hard,” former head coach Lyn Darrell said. “We had a good 20-year run. Things went well.”
3: IS BRIAN INMAN THE RIGHT MAN TO COACH THE TEAM?
“Brian is a great addition that we needed and haven’t had in six or seven years,” Darrell said. “I tried to get Brian. I wanted Brian to take over when I quit, but he was back in Virginia at the time and he and his wife couldn’t afford to make the move then. He would’ve been my pick to be the coach. It didn’t work out for him then, but I’m glad it did now.”
4: IN SPITE OF A 2-12 MARK SINCE THE START OF 2010, IS CLEAR CREEK ON THE RIGHT TRACK?
“I think we’re going in the right direction. I think they’re starting to buy in,” Inman said. “We need the student body to buy in to football. It’s going to happen pretty soon where we’re going to have bigger numbers, more kids out on the football field. It will just take a little bit of time. It would help if we won some more games.”
5: WHAT DO THE COACHES NEED TO DO TO HELP THE PLAYERS?
“You got to believe what you’re doing and then the kids will believe in it,” Darrell said. He coached the team to its last playoff apperance in 1999. “People sometimes get tired of the Xs and Os. You’ve got to make the kids believe in it as long as you believe in it, too.”
Playoff appearances: 11 (1950, ‘82, ‘83, ‘84, ‘85, ‘87, ‘92, ‘96, ‘97, ‘98, ‘99)
All-time playoff record: 2-11, including losses in their first eight apperances
Last playoff appearance: 1999, 47-14 2A first-round defeat to Buena Vista. The Demons went on to win the state championship.
Last playoff victory: 1998, 7-0 2A first-round victory over Monte Vista, upsetting the No. 3 team in the state
First playoff victory: Oct. 31, 1997, 31-0 in the first round of the 2A playoffs over Roosevelt
Last winning season: 1999
Record since the 2001 season: 17-79, including winless seasons in 2002 and ‘03
Worst loss in that time: 57-0, twice. To Holy Family on Oct. 8, 2004 and to Faith Christian on Sept. 9, 2005
Scoring struggles: Team was outscored 296-32 during a 1-8 season in 2005, including a six-game losing streak to end the year when the Golddiggers lost by a combined score of 211-0
Current losing streak: Six games, dating back to a 30-20 win over Cornerstone Christian in the next-to-last game of the 2010 season.