When he arrived at Hurst L.D. Bell in the spring, Mike Glaze was somewhat reluctant to show off his state championship ring from Cedar Hill.
The former offensive coordinator, who coached one of the most prolific attacks in Texas for the previous five years, one that played in the state championship for the past three years, understood that the past was the past. He wanted to open a new chapter in his career as the Blue Raiders new head coach.
His immediate task was to try and restore progress and pride to a program that was coming off a one-win 2014 season. This rebuilding project is going to need some time and patience from the L.D. Bell community.
There are signs this can happen. The team (0-6, 0-2 in District 7-6A) has lost two games in overtime to Keller Central (34-31) and last Friday to Richland (34-27) and played Midland pretty respectably before falling 17-7.
Learning how to win is a mentality that evolves. It doesn’t flip like a light switch.
“Anytime a program is going to work, you have to know what you’ve been through,” the 38-year-old Glaze said. “What I’ve told them is that they’re a handful of plays from being [3-3] not [0-6]. It’s a big deal. We were able to put more positives but we just haven’t been able to put four quarters together.”
Glaze faces his biggest challenge at 7 p.m. Thursday at Bedford’s Pennington Field when the Blue Raiders meet Euless Trinity in a rivalry series that has been one-sided. Trinity has won the last 17 meetings.
There is the pedigree for Glaze to succeed. He was at a program that emerged as a power under Joey McGuire. But just because he did it in Southern Dallas County didn’t mean that he was going to do it in Northeast Tarrant County.
“Anytime you’ve had success, it gives you an instant credibility,” Glaze said. “I showed them my ring in the first meeting with them. That was it. That stuff is in the past. My focus has changed.”
Glaze wasn’t concerned about the talent pool he was inheriting between the high school and the feeder programs. He just looked at L.D. Bell as a place where he could succeed. He wanted to change the mentality.
Plus, his family could be united by teaching and attending schools in the H-E-B school district.
“I just wanted to bleed blue,” Glaze said. “It was attractive and when I interviewed here, it was different from places where I interviewed. There was such a professionalism structure that I felt comfortable.”
Glaze is using a multiple offense that uses tight ends and three backs. It’s the same that he developed at Cedar Hill. The Blue Raiders defense bases from a 4-2-5 look. Brock Walker came from Granbury to be his offensive coordinator. Brady Bond arrived from Lake Travis to serve as defensive coordinator.
For now, Glaze is working solely with the quarterbacks. But that duty should move to Walker in the near future.
“It’s been a challenge, but I like challenges,” Glaze said. “We’ve worked with our junior highs and other feeder schools. We continue to build support.”
While 2015 will take some lumps, there are signals that 2016 offers hope. The Blue Raider defense is led by freshman safety Malik Caper. The offensive line returns four starters. There are also two running backs returning.
Rebuilding can be filled with frustration and a little impatience. But if it was easy, everybody would do it. Glaze is doing it.
High school picks
We were perfect last week. Thanks to Carroll’s comeback at Coppell and Keller fighting off Keller Central, we finished 9-0. Like any high school football coach, we’re hoping that we’re getting better as the season progresses.
Let’s get to Week 7. Every team in our area is playing.
Last week: 9-0
Denton Guyer (4-1, 2-0) at Keller Fossil Ridge (3-2, 2-0); 7 p.m. Thursday, Keller ISD Athletic Complex, Keller: You have to give Fossil Ridge credit for showing some moxie against Keller Timber Creek. But this week presents a daunting task against the explosive Wildcats, who have scored 62 and 48 points in the first two district games. It’s hard to see how the Panthers can keep pace.
Prediction: Denton Guyer 43, Keller Fossil Ridge 21
Hurst L.D. Bell (0-6, 0-2) vs. Euless Trinity (6-0, 2-0); 7 p.m. Thursday, Pennington Field, Bedford: There has always been respect between these two schools since this rivalry started. But the frustration from the Bell side is understandable. The Trojans have just owned this game. And they will own it again in 2015.
Prediction: Euless Trinity 48, Hurst L.D. Bell 17
Lake Dallas (4-2, 2-0) at Birdville (1-4, 1-0); 7 p.m. Thursday, Birdville Fine Arts and Athletics Complex, North Richland Hills: Lake Dallas is once again the team to beat in District 6-5A because of the return of quarterback Dagan Haehn. He makes that team so different. Birdville is going to have to outscore Lake Dallas in this one. I don’t see it.
Prediction: Lake Dallas 34, Birdville 22
Northwest Byron Nelson (2-3, 0-2) at Keller (4-1, 1-1); 7 p.m. Friday, Keller ISD Athletic Complex, Keller: This is a really dangerous game for the Bobcats and their playoff hopes. They need this one bad, because they don’t want to slip to 0-3 without having played Denton Guyer yet. Keller showed some grit fighting off Keller Central last week.
Prediction: Keller 24, Northwest Byron Nelson 11
Keller Timber Creek (2-3, 1-1) at Denton Ryan (5-0, 2-0); 7 p.m. Friday, C.H. Collins Complex, Denton: If you’re still not sure about Dave Henigan’s team, you should be. The Raiders are back and are really good. Timber Creek lost a tough one to Fossil Ridge last week.
Prediction: Denton Ryan 27, Keller Timber Creek 10
Keller Central (2-3, 0-2) at Justin Northwest (0-5, 0-2); 7 p.m. Friday, NISD Stadium, Justin: You have to feel for Bill Poe at Northwest, because this definitely wasn’t the season he was envisioning. This is a pretty good rivalry between the Texans and the Chargers. I really think the Texans can do this, but ….
Prediction: Keller Central 33, Justin Northwest 30
Richland (3-3, 2-0) at Carroll (4-1, 1-0); 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dragon Stadium, Southlake: Dragons coach Hal Wasson joked that he may need Mapquest to find the stadium. This is Carroll’s only second home game. While the Rebels have won three consecutive games, they’re just not at the Dragons’ level.
Prediction: Carroll 38, Richland 14
Colleyville Heritage (2-3, 0-1) at Haltom (1-5, 0-2); 7:30 p.m. Friday, Birdville Fine Arts and Athletics Complex, North Richland Hills: The Panthers are coming off their bye week and have a very explosive offense. The Buffalos just won’t be able to keep up.
Prediction: Colleyville Heritage 40, Haltom 7
Fort Worth Dunbar (3-2, 1-0) at Grapevine (4-2, 1-1); 7:30 p.m. Friday, Mustang-Panther Stadium, Grapevine: The Mustangs lost this game in shootout last year. Now, the Wildcats are still dangerous with quarterback Nakkia Cox, who has accounted for more than 1,100 total yards. But Grapevine’s defense has improved and that’s the difference in this game.
Prediction: Grapevine 30, Fort Worth Dunbar 20