COLUMBIA — The Hickman football team lost 10-0 to Hannibal on Friday night at home, leaving the Kewpies at 2-2. The Missourian talked to Hickman coach Arnel Monroe on Monday as the Kewpies began to prepare to face another 2-2 team, Helias Catholic.
If you could have done anything differently on Friday night, what would it have been? "I don’t think I would have done anything differently. You know, for the last two or three weeks I’ve been talking about our level of play and our focus. I don’t think I was listened to. While I believe that the boys love me and they respect me, I think they listen to outside forces. The only difference between Friday night’s game and the last two games is that we made plays when it was necessary to pull a win out. We didn’t do that Friday. We had mistakes, a loss of focus, lots of penalties, and we were inconsistently physical. It's the same thing we were doing the last two weeks, but we were winning. Sometimes people feel like because you win you can look over those things, but you can’t, not in football. Every week you play someone better. I don’t think I could have changed anything because I don’t believe people were listening."
Was there a certain turning point in the game? "The first play pretty much set the tone. We had a big play and it was called back because of a penalty. I give the kids credit. I’ve looked at the tape and it looks like the line judge needs to get his glasses fixed, but that’s the bottom line."
What are you most looking forward to this week? "Hopefully they are listening."
What are you least looking forward to? "Them not listening."
Even though Friday night was a loss, is there anything funny that happened during or before the game? "You know as a parent you hate to say 'I told you so.' The last three minutes of the game I’m shaking my head thinking 'I told you so.' I couldn’t get around it. We have to change the way we do things. We have to change the way we prepare, the way we practice, and completely buy in. That’s the funny thing. You can feel really good about a win, you really can. As a coach I’m going to look at how we won. We have kids on the team whose fathers and mothers do a lot of different things, lawyers, doctors, policemen, they work at the university … I’m a football coach. That’s what I do. For the last two weeks I’ve been saying something and the kids haven’t been listening. So hopefully they’re listening and we can get things going this week."
You guys play Helias Catholic on the road Friday. Both teams are 2-2. How do you feel going into this game, and do they have any players that scare you? "They have a really exciting running back; they have one great kid who’s back from last year playing defense. They can be explosive. They have some great wide receivers and a stout defense. They have lost some tough games, too. When I’m looking at a team, I look at their strengths and weaknesses as opposed to our strengths and weaknesses. It will be a tough game."