#CFCHSFB (ONT – Waterloo): Phoenix OC Chris has achieved great success

In the Waterloo County Secondary School Athletic Association (WCSSAA), the Resurrection Phoenix‘s senior team’s Offensive Coordinator Tony Chris has been coaching in various roles with the team for the past 10 years.

“Started as Head Coach of the junior team,” said Chris. “Then for two years, I was Head Coach for both junior and senior, believe it or not.”

“After that I was senior Head Coach for three years, then just Offensive Coordinator since. Tuffy Knight helped me greatly for the first five years and still comes out periodically. He’s a beauty.”

Chris has been fortunate, as he has full autonomy when it comes to making decisions on offence.

“The head coaches have been great,” commented Chris. “They let me have free reign.”

The senior boys team has always had a potent offence during his time with them.

“I have been fortunate to have kids with great skill and tailor the offence around the talent we have, especially when we have a dual-threat quarterback,” added Chris. “We ran off a 28-game win streak at one point, starting with the Western Bowl season.”

The senior Phoenix squad like to have a mix of passing and rushing.

“We are a gun triple option team that likes to mix in the pass more than most option teams, depending on our personnel, especially quarterback,” stated Chris.

Chris thinks that high school football in Waterloo Region started to receive more attention in 2008.

“I think the importance of high school football improved when we had our run to the Western Bowl victory in 2008,” said Chris. “The league started to get more recognition province-wide and the level of coaching and play improved throughout the league as a result.”

It is gratifying for Chris when players that he’s coached progress and reach the next level.

“We have had a number of players graduate to the next level, including eight off the Western Bowl team, so obviously that is one of the things I am most proud of,” said Chris. “I have had a few kids return and say they wouldn’t have gotten a university degree if it wasn’t for football.”

“I have had a chance to coach many of them at the next level, as I also was an offensive assistant under coach Paopao at University of Waterloo. Our goal is to make them better football players and better people, and not necessarily in that order.”

He has come advice for guys who are considering coaching at the high school level.

“To coach high school ball, you have to be able to give it a lot of time,” said Chris. “If you want the kids to sacrifice their time every day, you have to do it also.”

“Practices are at an awkward time of the day for most people as far as work is concerned. It would be better if we had more teachers involved, but there has been a trend away from that. You have to be willing to teach. Fundamentals are much more important than schemes.”

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