By Aaron Swaney Herald Writer
Soon after Jaxon Schweikert’s resignation was accepted in early February, the former Mount Vernon football coach made a call to Jay Silver. The two had coached together in Idaho and in Mount Vernon and he wanted to persuade the then-Coupeville head coach to guide the Bulldogs.
The pitch worked, Silver applied for the job and now finds himself making the jump from 1A to 4A as his players make a jump up a classification as well.
“He called me and basically talked me into it,” Silver said of taking the Mount Vernon job. “He loved these kids so much and he wanted to make sure that somebody came in and was running a similar thing that they were used to.”
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The coaching change may not be the biggest change for the Bulldogs players this season. Having played in the Northwest Conference, which is a mix of 1A, 2A and 3A schools, for the past six seasons, Mount Vernon faces a much stiffer challenge in Wesco 4A this season.
“In years’ past we played a lot of 2A schools, so you might play Anacortes and then go to Glacier Peak, who’s really good, and back to a Burlington,” Silver said. “And now the easiest part of our schedule looks like the first three games (Sedro-Woolley, Stanwood, Burlington-Edison) and even those are some pretty good teams. There’s not much of an opportunity of a drop-off in talent to get yourself fixed if you’re not healthy.”
This past spring and summer Silver said he’s increased the work load on his players in preparation for the step up to 4A and that the kids responded really well.
“I’m a big believer that we can only take care of ourselves and what we do,” Silver said, “and we can’t worry too much about what everybody else does if we can’t get ourselves fixed first.”