Greener changes football team’s reputation

Jeff Meaney

Head Coach Barry Greener shares a laugh with Rebel legend John Lee.
Head Coach Barry Greener shares a laugh with Rebel legend John Lee.

From Barry Greener’s days of high school football playing for the Weymouth Wildcats, to his playing and coaching days at the University of Maine, up until his long tenure as an assistant coach at Walpole, Mr. Greener has dedicated his life to football.  This year, Mr. Greener looks to win his eighth Super Bowl title with the Rebels and his first as head coach. On Friday September 11, he won his first game as head coach of the Walpole Rebels, a team he has been an assistant on since 1972. Coach Greener, who is also the physical education teacher at Johnson Middle School, has been an assistant coach of the Rebels for all of the programs’ seven Super Bowl victories. Along with winning another division two State Championship Greener is focusing on changing the teams reputation. For his first year as head coach, he has set out to change the reputation of the program by making the football players students first, and athletes second.

When he applied for the head coaching job this winter, the former defensive coordinator vowed to clean up a football program that has had some issues over the past few years. To ensure grades are kept up, Mr. Greener requires his players to have teachers sign-off on a checklist that reflects the athletes’ classroom performances. The football team will continue to set up for graduation in spring, something they have been doing for years. Another positive thing that Greener has done for the program is putting an end to hazing. In past years, sophomores have been obligated to perform comical skits and jokes for the senior’s enjoyment. Now, they are treated the same as the upperclassmen.

In order to ensure players have good citizenship, The chemical health policy is taken very seriously under the new head coach. Greener’s penalty for violating the chemical health policy is more severe than the MIAA requires. The no tolerance policy is yet another way that Greener is cleaning up the image of the Walpole High Football Program.
Greener demands hard work and discipline from his players, an old philosophy that he has acquired when coaching under Rebel legends John Lee and Chuck Grant. Greener’s players have responded very well to his philosophy which was shown when over ninety-five percent of the players attended the summer lifting program. “Heavy lifting prepares our players to be an animal during the play then switch it off and be a gentlemen after the whistle” said, Greener. By carrying the discipline onto the gridiron the Rebels will be committing less penalties, resulting in more opportunities on the field. By having players buy into his philosophies and following his work ethic the Rebels look to return to Gillette to repeat as superbowl champions.