North/South game quite an experience for Webb

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 26, 2005

WILLOW WOOD - Whether they're his own players or someone else's, Rusty Webb knows all players act alike.

They just play differently.

Webb, the Symmes Valley head coach, was the defensive line coach last week for the South team in the annual Ohio High School Football Coaches Association North/South All-Star Classic. Webb said it was an enjoyable experience.

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"I had a blast with those kids. We didn't have any problems with them," Webb said. "I don't think any of the coaches raised their voices while they were there."

One of the players on the South squad Webb coached was defensive back Cory Burcham who played for Webb at Symmes Valley.

"Cory had a great time. He represented himself well," Webb said.

The talent level was the difference for Webb comparing the all-star game to the regular season teams he goes against.

"The most memorable part of the week was just being around that many talented athletes," Webb said. "You hear a lot of things about egos, but you didn't see it. They were well-behaved and worked really hard. They all had a great sense of humor."

Besides the players, Webb said it was a learning experience working with other coaches on the staff.

"It was great be around so many great coaches and to listen to what was said," Webb said.

Despite all the positive aspects of the week, Webb said there was a down side to the game as well.

"The only thing I'd do differently is take my air conditioner with me. The first two days were really hot, but after that it was nice. Really, there weren't any negatives," Webb said.

But Webb admitted it was a lot of work.

"We weren't on vacation. We were up at 6 o'clock every morning. We had staff meetings past midnight," Webb said.

Coaching an all-star game is a lot different than one's own team. Webb said the short week with so many unfamiliar faces and talent made it difficult to mesh players together.

"Obviously, every team has their own terms and terminology. With only a week to prepare, you can't get too extensive with what you're doing. The quarterback and receiver have the most to do, and pass protection you can only use so many schemes," Webb said.

Being the defensive line coach, Webb said he kept the game plan simple.

"Defensively, you had to know where you're man is in the secondary. You can't play any zone," Webb said. "With the defensive line, I talked a lot to them about their different techniques at their home school. We used those the most. There are some differences, so you just try to hone the techniques they're going to learn."

Overall, Webb said the experience was well-worth the week-long participation.

"It was just an awesome experience. If the opportunity presented itself, I'd do it again," Webb said.