New North Lenoir head football coach Larry Dale sat down with HighSchoolOT to break down his journey leading up to getting the job at North Lenoir, what he sees so far from the school and players, and what his long-term vision is for the program.
Welcome back to high school. I’m here with Larry Dale, the new head coach at North Lenore high school coach. You were at, uh Washington County previously and also Granville Central, um, take us through the process again here to North. Um, so we were at Granville Central, uh, 17, 18, 19, uh, had a good run there. Um, my wife and I thought we wanted to live at the beach. So we went and worked at first flight for a year and a half. Um, that didn’t work out and COVID, you know, misses that, uh, uh, went to Washington County and I saw this opportunity. Um, we really think a lot of this has a lot of field of central. Um, you know, you’re sort of out in the country a little bit with the school, but you get kids from the, you know, from Kinston and from Gran that come here. Uh, nice mix of kids. Um, an hour 15 from the beach, 30 minutes to Greenville. So all the things you need. So, uh, we’re, uh, we’re really excited to be here. Um, this program not too long ago, had some really good seasons under coach Collins, um, did that kind of help you with the decision knowing that that can be done here? Yeah, absolutely. And, you know, I have friends in the area. So when we were, uh, doing our research, my wife and I, I asked some guys for film, you know, and, and we saw that there’s talent here, um, that we think we can come and help and coach up and hopefully get to where coach Collins had it. Are there any guys in particular that, you know, already that you’re excited about there? There’s quite a few that, so the thing is, is only lose four seniors from last year’s team and I think I counted 14 sophomores played at some point last year and, um, and there’s even a couple of freshmen, uh, put in there, you know, I, I think it’d be unfair if I just name a couple. Malik Fuller is probably the first guy that pops out. Um, you know, Ramsey are quarterbacks coming back. Um, Genesis Wiggins was the freshman I talk about that that comes and he’s just, he had a great basketball season if you follow North basketball. Um, and he had the biggest broad jump that we had right before Easter, you know, when we were testing the kids, um, in all my classes. So, but then there’s Jack her and then there’s, uh, you know, Kane or tight end there, there’s a lot of youth there. Um, I don’t know them all yet. Um But those are just a few names that really made an impact and I saw on film when I watched it um for any North fans out there, what is this gonna look like? Uh schematic and just kind of like visually, what’s the whole uh kind of uh um field the team gonna be? So if you, um if you ever watch to play, they have a very unique triple option And if you talk to Paul, he’s gonna say no one does what we do. And, uh, he doesn’t like to be pinned in a, in a hole, but he does a fantastic job where I lived very close to Paul when I lived in eating and, uh, got to know him a little bit and he helped me put in the triple, um, that we were in Washington County. That’s where we think we’re gonna go there. Um, so similar to him, obviously not exactly what he does. And then a little West Coast passing game that I’ve always brought with me. Um, and, and defensively, it, it, we have a very unique schedule where we have five spread teams and then we have five, we’re gonna punch you in the mouth three yards and a cloud of dust mindset teams. Um, so we’re gonna say 425, but it’s gonna morph into, uh, each week depending on the opponent. We have, uh, you mentioned your schedule, the conference you guys are in the East Central two A, it’s a, it’s a beast. I mean, we have the defending state champions, East Dublin Keenan. W, I mean, and everyone in the league has had success at some point. Um, in general, like, what’s your, what’s your whole take on the conference and what you’re expecting to get from them week in week out? Well, I’m probably gonna, you know, some people out there are gonna say something but I think it’s the toughest one in the State for two A, I just do. Um, but you get into this for a lot of reasons, you know, for the kids and for the relationships you, uh, make with the kids and, and other people doing this. The other thing is they’re cool experience. I mean, to go to Wallace, to go to East Duplin, to go to James just to be in those environments is something that, uh, me and my wife always wanted to do since we North Carolina love Grand Central to death. But even when we played South Cramble, which is a big rivalry and we both were eight and oh, one year going into that that you guys put on that, you televised still wasn’t what it’s gonna be when you go to Wallace or you go to, it’s just, they’re different atmospheres and that’s what high school football is all about. So that’s what we’re really excited about. It’s, uh, it’s a uphill climb for sure. Um, I know we’re still kind of early in the process. But do you have an idea of what your staff is gonna look like so far? Any guys back? Any new guys? Oh, so I have some uh some guys back uh Coach Loft, which is the head basketball coach, uh kids around here. Call him Copperhead. Uh He will be back and help us. Um We have Rob Smith, Tony Hill and Bailey Dunn. Those are my guys returning and the rest of the staff, we’re still trying to put together as we move forward. Um, we are changing the structure here a little bit. They’ve really been J V and then varsity sort of separated. Um I don’t believe in that, you know, if in a perfect world we have eight or more coaches, the coach becomes an expert at what he does. So if he’s a defensive line coach, that’s what he does. So when the varsity is on defense, he coaches those guys and when the varsity goes offense, now he’s teaching the J V guys the same thing. Um, that way, you know, we’re working through the whole system and also making our coaches experts at what they do. Um, and I think that helps them grow. Um, and it definitely helps our younger guys get the same coaching as the older guys. Um, what have you learned about kind of yourself and what makes you a good coach over your different stops here, you know, my biggest thing is, is uh making relationships with kids. I love kids and, um, that if, if you can get a kid and I used to teach math and my number one thing in the classroom is you had to make, make that relationship too. And if you make that relationship, then kids are willing to do whatever for you. And I think that’s the first thing you have to do is you gotta love them and sometimes love them even harder from Coach Price. You know, I heard him say that once and that’s true because kids all want love and they want structure no matter who it is, even if it’s a third grader that you think is just going crazy. He wants love and he wants, he, they really do want structure. And so we bring those two things and that’s what’s helped us every trip we’ve made. Right? Coach, appreciate the time. Uh, best of luck throughout the off season here and best of luck next season as well. Thank you so much. I appreciate what you guys do at high school. Ot appreciate that. Thank you.
A multi-lingual talent head, Allen is fluent in languages such as Spanish, Russian, Italian, and many more. He has a special curiosity for the events and stories revolving in and around US and caters an uncompromising form of journalistic standard for the audiences.