Ahead of the Buccaneers’ first home game since September 22, the winner of Week Ten’s Coach of the Week, presented by Tampa Electric, is Tavaris Johnson, head coach at Lake Wales Charter School in Lake Wales, Florida. On Thursday, Johnson will take a tour of AdventHealth Training Center as well as enjoy lunch at the facility and meet with Head Coach Bruce Arians. As part of the award, his program was also presented with a $2,000 grant from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Foundation for the Patriots football program.
1. What did it mean for you to be nominated and then win Coach of the Week?
I am deeply grateful for this honor. I am overly grateful for the Lake Wales community and will continue to support the Lake Wales Charter School/Athletics in advancing the quality of life for our youth. The Greater Lake Wales’s Community is indeed a better place because of all of their labors working in concert with one common objective … getting it right for our kids and their families.
2. How can the attached grant help your program?
This attached grant can and will help with postseason efforts with…
- College tutoring and visits. Sending students out to college fairs.
- Work with recruiting/college coordinator to ensure help is provided to qualify specific students for college (as necessary)
- Paying for SAT/ACT Testing for low incomes/hardship students.
- Give back to the community.
- Meet with potential and interested players/parents on collegiate possibilities (clearinghouse, SAT/ACT, qualifiers, application process, etc…)
- Provide insight on the college recruiting process, and marketing process for those not heavily recruited
- Assist with letters of recommendation on behalf of players (w/head coach’s approval)
- Assist with the creation of a viable and marketable highlight tape
- Consult with potential collegiate players on the differences of the varying levels of college football, and which one they are better suited (DI, DII, DIII, NAIA, I-AA, etc.)
Any Funds left over will support:
Football Equipment (player)
- Maintain helmet inventory (refurbish & replenish as necessary)
- Maintain shoulder pad inventory (refurbish & replenish as necessary)
- Replenish 7-piece pad sets
- Ball inventory (game & practice)
- Misc. equipment inventory (rib pads, neck rolls, gloves, braces, etc…)
- Equipment repair (screws, straps, facemasks, clips, etc…)
Football Equipment (field)
- Sled condition (working vs. need repair)
- Shute condition (working vs. need repair)
- Agility pad inventory
- Shield inventory
- Misc. field equipment
- Incorporation of film software
- Education of film software to rest of staff
- Presentation capabilities
- Indexing and cataloging using new film technology
- Organization of all above mentioned
3. What's most important to you as a coach and mentor to young players?
The most important goal for me is to teach at-risk youth the value of education and character development. The football program at Lake Wales High School strives to enrich the holistic and intellectual development the young men from our community beginning when the athletes enter into our program culminating with graduation. Through the myriad of experiences related to interscholastic competition, our student athletes will experience leadership opportunities, teamwork, responsibility, accountability, and rewards unique to the game of football. Our motto is “No Athlete Left Behind!” Our goal is to be a champion in Academics and Football. It takes more than a thought. There is a mystique about a champion. Ability gives a man an opportunity, but discipline makes the difference. There is no mystery to the control of a disciplined student athlete. We will have a disciplined and structured program. A championship is obtained by uncommon people who are willing to do the things that a common person would not do.