Rejuvenated Summers returns as Whittell football coach |

Rejuvenated Summers returns as Whittell football coach

Michael Traum

Find out what you can do well and stick with it.

It’s a philosophy that John Summers hopes to employ as he begins his second tenure as football coach at Whittell High School.

“A real simple offense, a real simple defense,” Summers said. “I’m really looking forward to it. I have a lot of ideas and things I want to do.”

Summers returns to the red and gold gridiron after a five-year layoff. Outgoing coach Butch Cattanach, an off-campus mentor who posted respectable results with limited numbers, resigned after a winless 1997 season.

Summers was the offensive coordinator with Richard Brandt and Craig Brown for four years prior to Cattanach’s tenure.

First-year Whittell principal Larry Snyder said his focus on replacing Cattanach centered around finding an on-campus coach – someone hired specifically to raise the number of athletes going out for football.

Summers agreed.

“You’ve got to see the kids every day. There’s a lot of kids in this school who can play football for us. They just need a nudge in the right direction,” said Summers, a longtime Whittell teacher who attended the school from 1971-75. “We’ve got to get things back to where we can at least have legitimate practices and a decent JV team to work for the future.”

Summers comes in excited to face the rigors of playing in the Northern Nevada 3A league. He believes proper preparation and execution of fundamentals are the keys to on-field success.

“My feeling is that no one in our league passes very well. The more guys you put in front, you take away the running game and put a lot of pressure on the quarterback,” Summers said. “It’s going to take some time. We’ll focus on the fundamentals. It all comes down to blocking and tackling. Whichever team does that the best usually comes out on top.”

Fans can expect the Warriors to feature a pro set offense with split backs, utilizing the short passing game in order to set up one-on-one situations. Defensively, Whittell will run a 6-2.

“I watched quite a bit of our opponents this year. One of the things I told the kids in a meeting we had was that we can be contenders in this league. There’s no dominating team and there hasn’t been for the last three or four years. We can play with anybody if we can get our numbers up and get these kids ready to play football when the off-season comes around,” Summer said.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around the Lake Tahoe Basin and beyond make the Tahoe Tribune's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.