Just a few weeks after coaching the North Beach Jr./Sr. High School Hyaks to a stunning national championship in AAU Powerlifting, Ric Dycus was named the school’s head football coach.
Now a few weeks into a new staff, informal practice and “a lot of weight plates clanging,” the new coach is excited. “Our offense is clicking; they’ve come along much faster than all of us coaches anticipated. It’s going to be different this year. This team is young, but very fast.”
Two-a-day practice starts August 16, and the Hyaks’ 2018 season opens at Winlock Friday, August 31, at 7 p.m.
At 52 years old and semi-retired from the construction trades, the trim and tall Dycus said, “I’m feeling like I’m where I need to be. I’ve coached most of these kids since 7th grade, so it’s a good fit for myself, for the players and for the school.” Dycus has been coaching football here at the junior high level since 2008.
When former Hyaks coach Todd Bridge took over that program, “Ric was my mailman,” Bridge recalled. “I asked him one day, ‘What do you think about helping coach?’
“We started coaching together – didn’t win right away,” he chuckled. When Bridge moved up to high school head coach, he asked Dycus to continue as junior high coach. He explained that there is no official league championship at the junior high level, but over the next several years, “Ric’s junior high program was in the mix for the mythical league championship five or six times.” During that span, Bridge’s varsity teams made the post season five times and enjoyed a 19-2 run over the 2014 and 2015 seasons.
Bridge, who left the Hyaks last year to become athletic director at Elma, said he and Dycus have similarities: “We both believe in character, responsibility, high academic standards. …” He said Dycus’ Hyaks team will have those traits, plus, “those kids are going to hit hard!”
Larry Moore, the Hyaks’ long-time basketball coach who recently stepped down as athletic director, said Dycus “knows the kids and knows the community.” He believes a key to his success as a coach “is Ric’s personality — he’s open and honest with the kids. He’s a good communicator and good at getting kids to believe in themselves, then everybody starts believing they can do it. That’s definitely a gift.”
A tight end and linebacker in the Marine Corps, “a different brand of football,” Dycus said with a wicked grin, he expects 2018 will be a rebuilding year for a team that was down in participants last season. “Back to basics,” he said, noting that “we need numbers to build the program.”
Dycus said part of his coaching style is encouraging young athletes to believe “that they’re capable of some things they didn’t think they were. … I don’t make them great, but I will find the greatness in them and help them pull it out.”
He added that being the most prepared team on the field will always be part of his game plan. “The powerlifters? When we won the Nationals, we were the most prepared individuals and team in the meet!”
The Hyaks will emphasize academics, team discipline, preparation, and mental and physical toughness and conditioning. “A lot of weight plates are going to be clanging this summer,” Dycus promised.
The new head coach said his young team will play a run-oriented offense, and he believes speed, rather than size, will be a team strength.
“I’m really excited,” he said with a broad smile. “I get to work with kids I’m very familiar with, that I’ve had success with. Now, we’re not expected to be successful this year, but we’re going to shock some teams,” he vowed.