AJ Esterline, Farwell’s new lead Gladiator
Coach Esterline is no stranger to the Farwell football program. He was the JV coach last year, and is a graduate of Farwell, playing for Coach Wooer. He helped coach the undefeated Farwell team of 1998, and coached abroad before returning back to his hometown. Coach Esterline also played basketball and baseball in High school, but found himself ingrained in football. We spoke with the Coach after practice and realized quickly that this team has the potential to be a dark horse contender sooner rather than later. The team looks poised to play hard for their new leader, and considering he is familiar with the program and the system there is little expected in the way of rebuilding or transitional pains. He may have a new staff under him, but with the knowledge Coach Esterline brings, the rest of the staff should be able to catch on quickly. He is focused on the near future and it appears that he could get 110% from his squad every day which makes this team dangerous for the competition to overlook.
Jack Pine Tribune- What got you into coaching to begin with?
Coach Esterline- The love of the game and getting to work with the kids. This is a great opportunity for me and a great group of kids that I get to coach this year.
JPT- In your opinion, what is the most important thing a coach can teach their team
CE- I would say it is a combination of discipline and teamwork. A football team needs everyone to do their job, or you can get in trouble quickly. If two or three guys take a game off, things can fall apart.
JPT- What do you like about Farwell’s football program?
CE- I have a group of really great kids that work very hard for me. It is nice to see them work as hard as they have so far this year to prepare for the upcoming season.
JPT- What would you like to change in the next year or two?
CE- Not a lot. Maybe some changes defensively, but nothing wholesale. We will run the same offense as well. We are looking to keep consistency in what we do. We are starting out with a new coaching staff, but most of what we have done before scheme wise should stay the same.
JPT- What are your team’s strong points so far this year?
CE- Understanding their responsibilities as a squad and doing their jobs when they are on the field. They have been working very hard as a team this year, and I am proud of that. They are coming together as a team and making really good progress with their assignments.
The coach is a man of few words, but his actions have shown that he intends to make Farwell a top contender for the Jack Pine Conference in the near future. With the experience he brings as a coach and player, and considering he has returned home with the experience he has gained from the other schools he has coached, expect to see some upsets this season. His team seems eager to work hard and please and it looks like they could make an early shot out of the gate that could surprise some schools this year. Consistency will probably be Farwell’s biggest tool, as the returning Varsity players will already know the system. He looks to have the respect and attention of his squad, so it will be a matter of execution and determination on the team’s part to be able to compete in the conference.