Yesterday, the Redskins honored Centreville High School head football coach Chris Haddock with the 2011 Redskins High School Coach of the Year award.
Haddock joined host Larry Michael and Redskins center Will Montgomery on “Redskins Nation” to discuss his successful season. Montgomery never played under Haddock, but is one of the most prominent alumni of the Centreville football program.
Yesterday was an opportunity for Haddock and Montgomery to reconnect on a relationship that began during Haddock’s interview process at Centreville.
“He actually sat on the panel when I interviewed for the coaching job at Centreville High School,” Haddock said. “It was impressive to me that the school took the time to reach out to, obviously, one of their most prominent alumni. He was interested enough to make time in his schedule to help out, and that impressed me a lot about what they wanted to do.”
Montgomery was a three-sport athlete and high school, and Haddock coached against him in football and baseball at Chantilly High School. Once Haddock took the job at Centreville, Montgomery has been supportive every step of the way.
“I had him come back and speak to the kids last year, before one of our games,” Haddock recalled. “We do team dinners on Thursday nights before games, and he came out and talked to the kids about preparation and doing things the right way.
“I think the kids were really impressed that here was a Washington Redskin who dressed in the same locker rooms that they did and played on the same field that they did–here he was talking to them.”
Coaching in an area that is so rich with football talent, Haddock has encountered multiple future NFL players during their Friday Night playing careers. In addition to Montgomery, he specifically mentioned Eddie Royal, Bhawoh Jue, and now Evan Royster as quality NFL talent coming from one corner of Fairfax County.
As a rival coach, Haddock was given the task of defending against Royster at both Fairfax and cross-town rival Chantilly High School.
“He was certainly a pretty impressive player,” Haddock remembered. “I’ve seen him since his freshman, sophomore year and high school, and I’ve always thought that he was extremely impressive. What he did last Saturday against the Vikings (19 rushes, 132 yards), I’ve been watching him do for a long time.
Haddock remarked that he was happy for Royster’s success, and knows that his family is still local. While he won’t necessarily use Royster or Montgomery as examples of where everyone will end up, he encourages his athletes to model their character and motivation after such players.
“Playing in the NFL is a dream of a lot of kids, but we all know that that’s a tough reality,” he said. “But what I think it does speak to, motivationally, is that hard work and the intangible characteristics that you focus on, are important. And that’s what we’re striving for: people who succeed in any field have certain skill sets and characteristics that make them successful.”
Congratulation’s Coach Haddock, and good luck to your Wildcats next season!