Florence head football coach Joey McQueen has been through turnarounds before and he knows that long-term program success begins before a player attends his first high school class.
“There’s probably some coaches that when they come in, they concentrate on the varsity, but I don’t do that because I get down and try to concentrate on everything,” McQueen said. “I let the junior high know it’s important that we do the things right, and I’m in the athletic period with them on Tuesday and Wednesday along with my coordinators.”
McQueen will begin to help build the foundation for the Buffaloes future at the Florence Football camp at Stampeded Stadium. The camp will be from 9 a.m. to noon Wednesday through Friday and is open to incoming seventh-graders through high school freshmen.
Campers will have a chance to interact with McQueen and the rest of the Florence coaching staff, learn about the playbook and gain knowledge for the upcoming season. McQueen said he plans to work closely with the middle school coaching staff to help the younger kids develop and get more of the playbook and concepts of Florence’s system as they get older.
“We try to run our two base defense and just about two base series on offense with our seventh- and eighth-graders then we’ll have three or four series with our JV (junior varsity) and we’ll have every series with the varsity,” McQueen said. “As you go down, you teach them the fundamentals and the basic stuff, and as you build up to the higher levels, you add more things.”
McQueen took over as Florence’s head football coach and athletic director after a two-year stint as wide receivers coach at Hardin-Simmons University.
The Buffaloes are coming off a 1-9 season and have made the playoffs twice in 55 years. Florence’s last postseason appearance was in 2001.
McQueen said player development at the early stages was a big key for turning things around and it’s hard to argue with his past results.
In three seasons in Lampasas, McQueen’s Badgers went 19-14 and made two playoff appearances. He won his first game as Lampasas head coach in 2009 and helped the team rebound from a 0-20 record the previous two seasons.
The 2011 season was his most successful, as Lampasas finished 10-2 and won its first district title in 25 years.
McQueen also helped Class 3A Smithville win its first game in two seasons during his time as head coach there.
He also led San Angelo Lake View to the playoffs for the first time in 10 years during the 2003 season. Lake View won a district title one year later.
The cost of the camp is $25 and players may be eligible for scholarships. For more information about the camp, call McQueen at 512-921-2470 or email email@example.com.