Q&A with Hickman football coach Arnel Monroe

Monday, September 12, 2011 | 9:12 p.m. CDT; updated 9:18 p.m. CDT, Monday, September 12, 2011
Arnel Monroe, Hickman High School's head football coach, directs his players during practice on Aug. 23. Monroe was named head coach after working at Hickman for 16 years as an assistant coach.

COLUMBIA — The Hickman football team won 27-9 Saturday at Hazelwood West, bringing its record to 2-1. The Missourian caught up with Kewpies headcoach Arnel Monroe on Monday as his team began preparations for its next opponent: Hannibal (1-2).

Q: Penalties were a big problem, and so was sloppy play. How can the team improve before playing Hannibal?

A: We need to execute better. I’m happy for the win, and I told the guys that. But I want them to understand that they need to expect more of themselves in order for us to get where we want to go. We’re going to get back to work today and try to learn how to execute.

Q: Quarterback Logan Fitch had a big game throwing the football. How do you feel about his performance?

A: Logan managed the game efficiently, threw the rock, and was a leader. But he’d be the first one to tell you that we have to execute better. So as we begin to develop and open our playbook, we want to be efficient. But he did a great job Saturday. Not only throwing the ball but encouraging his teammates and things of that nature. He’s starting to take control as the captain of the team.

Q: Anything funny or strange that took place during the road trip?

A: You know, I knew it was going to be one of those days. The lead driver we had was the same driver we had in ’07 when we went to Hazelwood Central and the bus caught on fire. So as I opened the door, I’m thinking 'Oh my God,' and she kind of laughed when she saw me.

Q: The bus caught on fire?

A: Yeah in ’07 we had to hop off the bus, and it just so happened that our parents were following us, so we all got there at the same time. So I saw her and I was thinking, 'Oh no.' So we get on the bus and the bus had a governor set for the city, so it would go about 65 on flat ground but it would only go about 50 on the hills. You know there are two or three big hills between here and St. Louis.  So that was a bit of a problem.

Q: Hickman beat Hannibal last year. Do you usually have success against Hannibal?

A: Well it’s an old rivalry from back when, you know, Hickman was in a conference. Hannibal is a tough, tough, group of kids. It’s a tough city, a proud program, and you know back in the day as cities grew Hannibal was in line with Jeff City and Hickman. It grew into a top notch program. There’s no… animosity, but they’re going to play good football.

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