New Athletic Director introduces self to Amherst football team

By Joel Charron

Last week, incoming Athletic Director and Amherst football coach John Hudak held work outs at the United Communities Credit Union Complex turf field to get to know his new team.

The works left Hudak impressed.

“We definitely have some athletes on his team” said Hudak.

The Bulldogs welcomed their new coach on the first day of the workouts with a loud round of applause.

“When I was introduced they clapped me up,” he said. “That showed me that they are very respectful kids.”

Last week, incoming Athletic Director and Amherst football coach John Hudak held work outs at the United Communities Credit Union Complex turf field to get to know his new team.

Hudak, who is currently the Athletic Director (AD) at Herman, will be taking over for out going AD Jim MacDougall next season. Although Hudak admits he hasn’t coached football in a few years, the new AD has plenty of experience.

Hudak coached at Forster, Riverside, as well as, being the offensive coordinator of the Essex Ravens for seven years.

Although Hudak is inheriting a veteran laden football team, he admits there will be a learning curve.

“We are going to go through some growing pains,” said Hudak. “They are going to have to learn a new offense, defense and a variety of special teams.”

The early summer workouts are something Hudak said he would normally do with his team. The workouts are for the players to work on skills and drills.

Hudak won’t have to do it alone. Scott Mallender, who has been involved with the team in the past, will be lending a helping hand.

The new AD understands the tradition that is left behind by MacDougall, calling him “one of the stronger WECSSA coaches” however a new era of Amherst football is on the horizon.

“Hopefully the boys won’t compare me to him. We’re two different people and we do things probably a little differently,” said Hudak. “The objective here is to have fun and put some W’s on the board.”

Hudak added that he was very impressed on how many players showed up to the workouts.  When Hudak told his colleagues at a recent WECSSA meeting that he had nearly the entire team attend the workouts, they were speechless.

“When I told them that I had 25 guys come out, they couldn’t believe it,” he said. “They said they only had about 15 guys come out.”

Hudak added that he is impressed at the Bulldogs desire to win.

Of course the Bulldogs are eager to get back on the field.

Star running back, Corey Bezaire said the majority of the team “still has a bad taste in their mouth” after their Wilson Conference finals loss to St. Anne’s and said Hudak will be a welcome addition to the team.

“I think Coach Hudak will be great for our program,” said Bezaire. “I think he will pick us up a little bit after the loss of MacDougall.”

Bezaire said he doesn’t have high expectation for his new coach but rather has high expectation for the entire team.

“We all have high expectation of each other, including the coaches,” he said. “We all want a championship and nothing less.”

Although Amherst cannot hold summer practices, Bezaire said several members of the team are organizing workout during the summer months to prepare for the upcoming season.

“We’re all excited for next season,” said Bezaire.

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