QZ93 Sports

Fisher ready to build at Conemaugh Valley

In Blacklick Valley, Conemaugh Valley, Football, Portage, WestPAC on March 13, 2009 at 10:39 pm

Jim Fisher knows the challenges that lay ahead as football coach at Conemaugh Valley High School and he’s embracing them.

Fisher, a 38-year-old Vinco resident, was named the successor to Tom Marshall, who resigned following the 2008 Blue Jays campaign.

That opened the door for the 1988 Portage graduate and 1992 graduate of Pitt-Johnstown. A member of Mustangs coach Gary Gouse’s staff for 12 years, Fisher worked his way from volunteer assistant to varsity assistant, and also spent a season coaching as a volunteer under Bill Zamboni at Blacklick Valley.

“There were rumors that (Coach) Marshall would resign and I had wanted to get back into coaching,” said Fisher, who spoke exclusively to QZ93 Sports on Friday night. “I realized I wanted to be a head coach a while ago. I thought about how tight the community is at Conemaugh Valley. I like the challenge it presented as a small school that has remained competitive.”

conemaugh_valley

Thanks to the Pennsylvania High School Helmet Project

Fisher will face a daunting task at Conemaugh Valley as he tries to build the numbers for a team that had between 15 and 18 kids available for games last season. The Blue Jays, despite the low numbers, opened the campaign 3-0 and finished 4-5. Tailback Steve Ling ran for more than 1,800 yards, but will graduate this spring, leaving a gaping hole for Fisher’s troops to fill.

“First and foremost, I want to get into the school and get the numbers up,” said Fisher, who played running back and cornerback for the Mustangs. “It’s just getting in there and introducing myself and showing them that I am enthusiastic, and getting them enthusiastic.”

Fisher understands the history of Conemaugh Valley football as well, and plans to install a run-oriented offense with the Delaware Wing-T.

“Building on that, though, I want to see what type of athletes we have. If they are more of a passing-oriented group, we can run that also,” said Fisher, who is working on building a coaching staff. “We want to return to that tough hard-nosed football team. When you played (Conemaugh Valley) you knew you were in a game. We want to return to those roots and then build the numbers and the enthusiasm and become a physical football team.”

BY MATT JORDAN
matt@qz93sports.com

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