Klein Oak program embracing Glenn’s ‘All-in’ culture
Usually when a football program wants to change a culture it takes a couple of years.
The key objective Klein Oak achieved last year was going through a productive coaching change under second-year head coach Jason Glenn’s ‘All-in’ approach.
That’s what the Panthers wanted to accomplish the most and there were plenty of talented players that helped make that happen as they marched to the postseason.
The movement continues going into the 2018-19 school year.
“We’re way ahead of where I thought we would have been,” Glenn said. “It’s just a great atmosphere right now.”
In Glenn’s first season, Klein Oak finished 7-4 overall and 6-1 in District 15-6A.
They placed second behind Klein Collins, ending the year as area finalists.
“I think it went really good according to how we played and conducted ourselves,” Glenn said. “It’s only going to get better from here as the kids buy into more of the culture that we’re building here.”
The coaching staff is hopeful that the program remains consistent.
“The main thing about culture is you can’t start something and not finish,” Glenn said. “You got to be consistent in your efforts of wanting to change things and I think that helped a whole lot.”
The mindset of the program has resulted in an ‘All-in’ culture season year-round.
“We don’t call it offseason because we’re never off,” Glenn said. “That’s how you build your culture, is through that season.”
The athletes have embraced it and now the expectations are high.
Klein Oak beat Benjamin Davis in the first round of the playoffs (23-20) last year and then lost to Cedar Ridge (59-18).
Glenn graduated numerous seniors from that one-loss district team. But the returning starters learned a lot from those who started building the culture.
“The kids under them actually grasped on being tough, smart and physical,” Glenn said.
That change resulted in leaders like OL Kelvin Scott, DT Gerald Irons, Army West Point commit, all-district LB A.J. Roberts, who’s the vocal and emotional leader of the team, and WR Tyler Hudson, who’s highly recruited.
“We have some others guys but those guys right there that’s all you need,” Glenn said.
The Panthers’ offense is looking good but there’s also a big top quarterback competition in junior Montrell Bolton and Tucker McEnroe.
“When people say that that’s usually not the case for high school but we actually have two outstanding quarterbacks competing,” Glenn said. “It picked up at the end of the spring, you could actually see the competition, talent and what we have coming up.”
Talent across the board
Carrying the load will junior running back Kandal Taylor. He started as a sophomore for a couple of games. There’s also RB Dorian Manuel.
Blocking for Taylor are going to be guys like Scott, Jon Scalli, Will Kingo and Blaine Birner.
“We have some guys on the offensive line that are going to be doing some damage,” Glenn said.
Besides Hudson, there’s also WR/CB C.J. Watson.
“He’s a jack of all trades player who does a lot of things and is expected to do some good things,” Glenn said.
Key players at defense besides Irons and Roberts have been DL Max Edwards, SS Austin Parow, LB Relon Jones and newcomer of the year LB Colbie Habermacher.
“Those are the ones right now that are taking advantage of the opportunity,” Glenn said.
There’s also two young corner backs in Keon Jones and Dominic Morris.
“We have a lot of kids here that are underclassmen that are doing really well for us,” Glenn said.
The rest of the underclassmen are also extremely talented.
Last year’s freshman A-team went undefeated for the first time in school history.
“I’m keeping those guys together because they have the identity part in,” Glenn said.
Glenn says they’ve bought into the ‘All-in’ culture as well.
The program’s identity has been clear since day one.
“Tough, physical, hardworking and great sportsmanship,” Glenn said. “We also want our program to be known for high academics.”
Klein Oak will need to translate that identity to the new 15-6A in which Klein ISD will face the Conroe ISD schools.
The Panthers’ new district opponents will be Conroe, Oak Ridge, The Woodlands and College Park, which will make conference games a lot tougher.
“I enjoyed it, I think it gives us a chance to be playoff ready,” Glenn said. “I think the kids are going to love it and the competition early will help us out.”
In the district, Klein Collins will attempt to successfully defend its district title, while the Panthers, Klein and Klein Forest try to crack the top four. Klein Cain makes its varsity debut.
“There’s not one set team that you need to look out for because all of them at any given day can beat you,” Glenn said. “Either one of them can win district, we don’t take anybody lightly.
“That’s the good thing about our district, whoever makes it out will be playoff ready.”
Glenn believes the program had a good season last year. When it was all said and done 16 players signed to play ball at the next level.
“We did some outstanding things but my personal goal is to make sure every kid leaves here having a great time playing for Klein Oak,” Glenn said. “Make sure they understand that we love our guys, we just want to give them a change to further their education.
“They enjoy the game of football and I think that’s going to help us extremely.”