Doug Trainor likes rebuilding football teams.
In 2005 he took over a fledgling Bellingham team and helped them record a winning record his first season and got the Red Raiders to fifth in state by his third year.
He’s got a new project in Stanwood.
The first-year Spartans head coach inherits a team that went 2-8 last season and only got wins against a winless Cascade team and first-year program Marysville Getchell. For Trainor, who coached under former Stanwood head coach Tom Boehme in the early 90s, turning around the Spartans is personal.
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“It’s a point of pride with me,” said Trainor of the Stanwood job. “You know you spend eight years and you leave it in good shape and you need to get it back to respectability.
“Stanwood football used to be a big deal here and we need to get it back to that,” Trainor added.
The first thing Trainor instilled in his new team is a don’t-look-back attitude.
“We don’t talk about last year; that was the past,” said Stanwood WR Jake Campbell at Wednesday’s first practice.
Campbell is part of a large senior class, which includes twin brothers Kyle and Brian O’Donnell and running back Kyle Strachan. That class has bought in to Trainor’s new culture around camp, including a more strict sense of discipline.
“We really needed (discipline),” Kyle O’Donnell said. “Last year we had people with off-the-field issues and this year you do one thing and you’re off the team.”
Trainor said he’s been impressed with the seniors and said he couldn’t have expected any more from the group since he took the job in March.
“As soon as I took over we started doing some evening weight room times and we had 35-40 guys showing up after their sports and that was huge,” Trainor said. “I knew right there they we had a committed group. They’re just hungry to win.”
But Trainor knows that talking about it and doing it are two different things.
“Fundamentally we’ve got them caught up. Xs and Os we’ve got them caught up,” Trainor said. “You know there’s a lot of ‘Well, we haven’t won a lot of football games around here.’ But that’s the thing they need to learn that you just let it loose.
“We can keep telling them and telling them but they have to practice it and they have to do in a football game and then go ‘Oh wow it works.’ That’s where we have to get it.”