Training day – O’Bannon Greenwaves pushing hard into the new season
The weight room at O’Bannon High School Gymnasium has been buzzing with energy for the past few weeks as Greenwave football players are getting stronger and stronger with a football season fast approaching.
O’Bannon’s coach, Lynn Lang, entering her fourth year at the helm, believes her program was built for this – there’s winning in the air.
“I’ve been working on culture change for a while, and now we seem to be in a better place. We have kids who want to be here and see the benefits of working hard. That’s why we’ve been on all these trips in camps. We went to 7 on 7 camps and we went to Ole Miss camp. I think the light comes to most of these guys that if they work hard, good things can happen, ”said the Coach Lang.
The Greenwaves football season begins August 26 with a home game against Coahoma County. They will then travel to West Tallahatchie and West Bolivar the next two weeks before another home game against Simmons on September 16.
O’Bannon will be led by a handful of seniors this season in Jordan Clark, Anthony Brooks, Brandon Lee, Lekedric Sutton, but coach Lang said there would be no excuses for a young team.
Big things are expected from quarterback Chandler Lang, who is entering his second season.
“Chandler is an exceptional player,” Coach Lang said. “No matter where you put him, nothing is too big for him. He’s always calm and has a calm demeanor. He’s a sophomore, but he’s not a regular sophomore.
Like everyone else, Coach Lang hopes the worst of the pandemic is behind him and his team. With his team not allowed to play for parts of the last two seasons, some of Coach Lang’s best players were poached by local private schools.
“I have four kids starting at Greenville Christian. That’s been the frustrating part because when I lose a child I see it as a personal failure because you don’t get to see it end. I don’t have the chance to see the kid grow until the end. This is the problem we face and the problem Greenville High faces. It is about whether schools are proud of themselves.
“The way forward is simple,” he added. “We’ve always had a lot of talent at O’Bannon. So when I lose one I need to have something similar. I have to develop a player to take his place.
With over two and a half decades of coaching on his resume, Coach Lang knows his job is not limited to football.
“I play the role of father figure because some of these kids don’t have a father figure in their lives,” he said. “I teach these kids not just football, but life. Kids want structure, and they want to know that someone cares about them and loves them – and I love all my kids.
Lang added that he was proud of his players for working so hard this summer.
“Training in the delta sun is not easy and most kids don’t want to do it,” said coach Lang. “You can cut a whole basketball team one day and throw a basketball in the gymnasium the next day and the whole gymnasium would be filled with guys who want to play basketball. Football is very different. It’s not easy and they have to want to be there.