5 Questions: Villa Park football coach Dusan Ancich
In 2008, Dusan Ancich took over as the football coach at Villa Park High. He inherited a team that went 1-9 in 2007, but progress was made immediately.
The Spartans won four games in Ancich's first year, and they returned to the playoffs in 2009, finishing with a 7-4 regular season.
Since 2010, Villa Park has claimed three consecutive Century League titles, and the Spartans have won 14 consecutive league games. A 28-10 loss to Edison in the CIF-SS Southwest Division final ended an otherwise successful season that saw the Spartans finish 12-2, a season that left Ancich with a hunger to get back out onto the football field.
Q: Did the football banquet last weekend serve as closure for this past season?
A: It was. We had a really good turnout, but it was sad in a way. We had some really good kids that you hate to say goodbye to. Yeah, you'll see them around school, but it's not the same.
Q: Is there any one thing you'll take away from this season?
A: You like to look at the season as a whole, but you definitely capture some key moments. The end of the Tustin game. Walking into Angel Stadium for the finals. We had a lot of close games that made the season more memorable. But that Tustin game in the fog, and walking into Angel Stadium – that was a pretty special moment for the players and for the community.
Q: This is the second senior class you've seen come in as freshman. What is that like for a coach to see your players mature over four years?
A: I think that's what separates high school sports from every other level. These guys came in as freshman, and I've seen them change physically, emotionally and socially. We had some guys who were trying to skate by academically early on, and now they're going to great four-year universities. It's pretty special.
Q: It seems like football season never ends. What is next for you and the team?
A: We've established our weight training program, and we have a speed and conditioning deal that a lot of schools are doing too. But we'll start throwing the ball ... with other schools come March.
Q: Do you enjoy the down time when football is out of season, or are you ready to get back out on the field?
A: Honestly, I really enjoy game nights. I saw the interview with Nick Saban after the national championship game, and he was already talking about next season. But I got what he was saying. Even if you don't want to start preparing, people are out there doing it. I think Orange County football is pretty dang good, and as long as schools are doing it fairly, then I'm all for preparing.
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