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Transition for Assumption is Paine-less

New Assumption football coach Anthony Paine (center) guides the Mustangs at a recent spring practice in Napoleonville. (Photo by Abby Tabor/Staff)

Sixth in a 13-part series

NAPOLEONVILLE — Nothing was different for the Assumption Mustangs during their spring practices except for the man in charge.

The Mustangs completed their first spring training under the guidance of first-year coach Anthony Paine.

Paine, who was an assistant coach for three years at Assumption, replaced former coach Don Torres, who retired from the school system.

Paine, a 1999 graduate of Assumption, said that when he came to work at Assumption, his upcoming senior class was freshmen, and that has made his transition to head coach easy.

“The transition has gone well. I’ve been with those guys when they came in as freshmen,” Paine said. “I haven’t changed the practice plan or our weight program, those things are the same. The transition has gone as well as I expected. We had some bumps in the road, but we handled those things as they came up.”

The Mustangs had 75 players out for football and besides a few minor injuries, Paine said that the team has finished spring relatively injury-free.

“I think (spring) went well. We accomplished a couple of major goals. The first (goal) is we didn’t get anybody hurt,” Paine said. “We taught a lot of the basics and got the players a lot of work. The main thing was not to get any of our perceived starters injured. We taught the young guys, and retaught the older ones in fundamentals and how Mustang football should be played.”

While spring practice was relatively the same, Mustangs offensive lineman Hunter Alleman said that he noticed some difference in way of intensity.

“I think he is going to do good. He’s been here a few years, and he wants to bring the program where it used to be and continue our tradition,” Alleman said. “The practices have been hard, and he is pushing us, but he know how to work us. We got some new people (as starters), but we will be OK once the season rolls around.”

Assumption linebacker Arrion Sargent said that he sees a difference off the field more than on the field.

“I don’t see any changes, and that is a good thing. The defense is coming along, and we are working hard,” Sargent said. “Coach Paine knows all of us. He knows what to expect from us, and he is even checking up on us in class making sure we are doing right.”

Paine said that discipline begins with the simplest thing in life and it is that discipline that pays off on the football field.

“I know when I was their age, if I didn’t have someone on my back, I wouldn’t be where I am. I want to return the favor, but take it up a notch,” Paine said. “I have changed some things, and they are more aware walking on campus that I will show up. I am particular about things like the school uniform. School and football is very similar in discipline. That is doing things the way it supposed to be done, when it supposed to be done and how it is supposed to be done.

“If you can carry over the discipline of your regular life onto the football field, you can be successful.”

With spring practice complete, Paine said that over the summer the concentration will be on the little things that are the difference in the fall.

“Our focus will be to improve our strength, our agility and our footwork. All the little things related to football,” Paine said. “(Former University of Oklahoma and former Dallas Cowboys coach) Barry Switzer once said that you can condition a football team four weeks before its first game. So the first part of the summer will be on strength, agility and alignment. With our young linemen, we had some bust in our schemes. We want to continue to get things down and we should be alright.”

Coming Sunday: Vandebilt Catholic