Dax Rodriguez helped reverse the fortunes of the West Allis Central softball program this year, and when school resumes in August, he will attempt another turnaround.
Rodriguez is the new head football coach of the Bulldogs and will try to bring them back from a disappointing 1-9 season, just as he took the softball team from a losing mark in 2007 to 15-5 in the season just completed.
"Everything will change a little bit," said Rodriguez about his football plans. "We need to put a new gloss on everything and get the kids excited about football again. I believe last year was an aberration, and the seniors and other returning players need to come back with a chip on their shoulder."
One factor in his favor is that Central was a young team last season, and its two best players, quarterback Ryan Barwick and wide receiver Mike Westrich, will both return. Both put up big offensive numbers and Rodriguez, playing to their strengths, plans to drop the wing-T offense and utilize more of a pro-style system and spread out the offense.
"We will do some different things on defense, too," he promised.
Rodriguez, a 1991 graduate of Central and an assistant coach on the Bulldog staff for the past 11 seasons, is well aware of the strong history of the program. "We want to restore the sense of confidence and pride," he said. "We want to bring the excitement back. The kids have to want to do it not only for themselves, but for Central High School. We want to show that Central will again be someone to be reckoned with."