Grizzlies greet first-ever season with heart

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The biggest concern Rob Schoenfeld had when he took charge of the Glenn football program was how the athletes would adjust to a brand new unknown that had zero history in an extremely successful area. 

He was not disappointed. 

Glenn opened its doors for the first time this year and the football team, consisting completely of freshmen and sophomores originally slated to go to Rouse and Leander, played a junior varsity and freshman schedule with a couple varsity games.

“High schools and their extracurricular sports have such a strong tie between individual members of a community and how they view it at large, especially in Central Texas,” Schoenfeld said. “The part that exceeded my exceptions was how readily the kids identified as Glenn Grizzlies.”

The JV team finished the season 6-3 with wins over the varsity teams at Austin Lanier and St. Dominic Savio. The rest of the schedule was filled with sub-varsity teams from LISD, Alvin, Liberty Hill and Judson. 

The first year was easy to schedule, but in the Grizzlies’ second year, they hope to up the competition level and play more varsity games before they officially join a district in 2018. Schoenfeld said he has a tentative schedule in place for next year, but it’s always a work in progress. 

The biggest hurdle wasn’t coaching football, but hiring an entire staff across all sports at the school and getting equipment before the coach was hired, hoping that everything was right for the coach before they showed up.

It’s never easy, but the way the kids responded to being in a new school and how the community supported the program was amazing,” Schoenfeld said. “The worst case scenario you have would’ve been that the kids had to come here and it’s not what they dreamed of being.”

“I never wanted to have our programs to be viewed as less than what they would’ve gotten had they went to the school they were supposed to.”

Schoenfeld was an assistant for the Bay City team that won the Class 4A, Division I state title in 2000. That propelled him to head coaching stops at Boling and Edna before stepping down in 2008. 

He spent the four seasons prior to taking the job at Glenn as an assistant at Cedar Park, winning state titles in 2012 and 2015 with the Timberwolves. 

After his last head coaching job, he was unsure if he’d ever lead a program again. He said there were some things that he wishes he’d done better as the top dog and felt the Grizzles’ job allowed him to accomplish his goal while coaching in one of the most competitive and successful school districts in the state.

“The opportunity at Glenn was good for me because I don’t have to leave the LISD,” Schoenfeld said. “I feel like everything I’ve done up to this point was a precursor to this job. The LISD is one of those destination districts because they do things right.”

He’s taken a step-by-step approach with his exceptions but started to install a varsity-level mindset to the way be prepares for games and practices. He said he didn’t want to present a message that changes when we became a varsity program.

The goal for Glenn is to be successful at a high level, which in Texas means consistently making the playoffs. But in LISD, being successful means consistent deep playoff runs and competition for state championships. 

“That’s the end game for us, to be in that conversation when the time comes,” Schoenfeld said. “In the 2018 season, we’ll be in a district somewhere and our expectations will be to be in the playoffs. I didn’t leave a great program to go somewhere else and be average.”

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