Pacific football has stepped up to the challenge of creating a viable program and won the battle.
Head coach Keith Buckley has been involved in football his whole life and has now dedicated his career to establishing a solid Pacific team that will take on other Northwest Conference teams for years to come.
Buckley was a defensive back in college and has used that experience to work with the Boxer’s secondary. He said he spends most of his time on the defensive side of the ball, but that he runs the team from a managerial position as well. He leaves most of the up close coaching particulars to his offensive and defensive coordinators Jim Craft and Jacob Yoro.
Most of Buckley’s time is spent with his players, working with them on and off the field, monitoring to help them become the best they can be.
The Boxers are Buckley’s first team that he’s been the head coach of. He has built the program from the ground up and has led the team to become progressively better every season.
As far as injuries go, Buckley said the team has faced the adversity well. He said that while injuries are a part of football, it doesn’t change the fact that his players are hurt at the end of the day. He showed immense concern for all the injured players throughout the season.
Buckley also said that the Boxers are fortunate enough to have more than 100 other guys willing to step into the roll of the injured player as well to help the team out.
P.J. Minaya is a perfect example.
When quarterback T.C. Campbell went down with a knee injury, Buckley said it was hard but that he had complete confidence in Minaya. He said that Minaya has practiced as if he were the starting quarterback all along. Buckley said he was very pleased with how the junior quarterback (who is 2-3 while starting this season) has played up until now.
The Boxers are coming off a bye week in which Buckley said the team used to get healthy.
The team will need it as it is coming into its toughest three games of the season. They will face Lewis and Clark on the road, Willamette at home and Linfield on the road to finish up the year.
Buckley said that they will have to be able to shut down the quarterback for Lewis & Clark, who is a very mobile athlete. The Boxer’s are in the top 50 in the nation for stopping the run, according to Buckley.
When asked about the other two remaining games of the season Buckley said he can’t see past this Saturday.
The Boxers head coach said that the team is inching closer and closer to reaching the middle of the pack in the conference and that they are working hard every week to get there.
Their general routine consists of individuals, small groups, large groups of seven on seven, the inside run and team situations. Buckley and the rest of the coaches use practice time to hone the players skills and prepare them week by week. Buckley said the team used the bye week to focus on fundamentals. They worked to sure up the little things that will prepare them for Lewis & Clark.
“This will be the test,” Buckley said in reference to the next three games. Many will gauge the team by what happens over the next three games, but the Boxers have taken to becoming a force in the Northwest Conference.
Football is a game of inches, and in the case of standings, recognition comes one game at a time. So far this season the Boxers have won twice. Doubling last year’s total with three more games to spare.