With the 2019-20 school year upon us, the Sun is speaking with every athletic director in its coverage area to get a scope of how each program is shaping up for the upcoming academic year.
This installment features Oswego athletic director Chris Ball. A former wrestling coach at Parsons High School, Ball enters his second year as athletic director of Oswego High School.
How would you gauge the progress of Oswego athletics through one year of serving as A.D.?
“We’re moving in the right direction and forward in all areas. Bringing Coach (Matt) Fowler in for football, he’s done amazing things. We also had a successful volleyball season last year. Our other programs have really made strides behind the scenes to push things forward.”
The biggest challenge faced in the first year serving as Oswego’s athletic director…
“For me, I learned a lot more about the behind-the-scenes aspects. There’s a lot of things you don’t notice as just a coach. The amount of energy it takes to do a job and do something new. Overall, I’ve definitely enjoyed myself.”
What points of emphasis have you talked about with the Oswego coaching staff for this season?
“We’ve talked a lot about some base expectations. My challenge to the coaches this year was to work harder. Everybody has room to improve and keep climbing the ladder. Anytime anything’s ever frustrating, we’ll see what we have to do to work harder and fix it.”
Football head coach Matt Fowler is one of the most celebrated 8-Man coaches in the state thanks to his run at Spearville. What was the impact of his addition to the staff last year?
“He is a complete package. He doesn’t just coach the football season. He coaches kids, adults and parents all year long. He doesn’t flip a switch. Everything he brings to the table is himself. That’s a great asset to have in any program.”
Approach to balancing the athletic department as a whole…
“That’s where a lot of people struggle. Every program is just as important as the other. We want kids to be involved. We’re just as happy if somebody is playing football or running cross country. Being a smaller school in the area, we don’t have a lot of kids to choose from. To get good numbers in a program, we have to get as many kids involved as possible. So there’s not one that’s more important than the other.”
Thoughts on how KSHSAA does its job…
“There’s a lot that goes into that. If I’m speaking as an athletic director for Oswego, I recognize that the administrators of KSHSAA are in difficult positions. They make some hard decisions. But as a former wrestling coach, I was ecstatic they added girls wrestling. Overall, we know KSHSAA does the best they absolutely can with what they have to work with.”
Personal goals for 2019-20…
“I wouldn’t be doing my job if I wasn’t taking my own advice. I’m going to work harder as well. That’s the reason I gave that advice to the coaches. Now that I’ve been through this for a year, I can buckle down and streamline things a little better. If there’s any areas we can improve in, we’ll focus on them.”