Bruin football will be back this school year 2015-16 at Riverbank High, playing an Independent schedule (no league affiliation) and along with their new status they will also have a new Varsity Head Coach, Kit P. Jory Sr., coaching staff, new uniforms with a new logo, new helmets, and new equipment to promote a new culture of football.
Jory has coached at Modesto Christian for the past several seasons and has been in a few Section championship games during that time. He also has watched Riverbank football players through the years show up with heart and the motivation to win but there always seemed to be something missing. Jory may be that missing piece with his passion for football and the determination to bring changes to the program. Already, the players have started preparing for the new season hitting the weight room known as the Bruin’s Den and practicing out on the field for their AAU passing league.
“When I took the position I realized and I realized even more now that I have been in it a few months that I am not here just to coach football,” said Jory. “I am here to change the culture of football in this community and part of that is about building these young men into men.
“So that is a huge part of why I took it (head coach position). I have been pleasantly surprised with the players.”
With the reputation that Riverbank football has had and a lengthy streak of losing seasons, changing the culture in the community is going to take a lot of work from the players and coaching staff. But, said Jory, he knows the players are up to the challenge.
“I have never seen in all my years of coaching where every single practice the players come up, look every coach in the eye, stand tall and shake their hand and say thank you coach, thank you for being out here,” stated Jory. “To see that from these kids, it is really amazing and it tells us coaches that we are on the right track and that these players deserve the amount of work that we are putting into it.”
This is the first head coaching position that Jory has accepted due to the fact that his schedule is a bit more flexible so he can put the time in that it will take to build this new football program.
Jory has been on staff since March and has met a lot of the players along with 12 other coaches on staff.
“We are not just coaching football, we are changing the culture of football in Riverbank that includes creating and building relationships in the community; it includes building relationships with the players and it includes doing a lot of work here,” added Jory. “Staff has to be 100 percent invested and it is the same mentality with the staff that we have with the players.”
One of the biggest things that Jory would like to see is support from the community. To show the community that they are willing to earn their support the team has done some community service, picking up trash and painting over graffiti.
“We are not looking for handouts,” said Jory. “We will go out and earn it.
“We want the community to come to our games and invest in our program.”
This is the first year Riverbank will be considered an Independent team, with 10 games already scheduled and no matter how their season goes they will not have any playoff games. Jory explained that this will give them a chance to rebuild the program and hopefully eventually request that the CIF (California Interscholastic Federation) put them back into a sanctioned league.
Senior Tim Brown, who is excited for the new football season, has played football at Riverbank High School his entire high school career. He is looking forward to the new season with the new equipment and coaches and believes that this year they will win.
“We are excited to have him (Jory) on staff,” said John Bartlett, RHS Athletic Director. “He brings a positive, community-centered philosophy to the program and to our school.
“Our hope is that he will change the mindset and work ethic of the student athletes and in so doing change the football culture at RHS.”
“I am excited to have Coach Jory working at RHS,” agreed RHS Principal Sean Richey. “I think that Coach Jory will prepare our student athletes to compete in every game; and, more importantly, achieve success in the classroom. We are grateful to have so many topnotch, quality coaches at RHS. I look forward to our upcoming athletic seasons.”
Though the Bruins have struggled to win games in the past, Jory said their hard work will pay off.
“The key to rebuilding Riverbank is people are going to have to believe that they have coaching staff in place for once, that has some experience of being in a winning program so they know how to produce that and create that here and they are committed to it,” expressed Jory. “It is our time to rebuild, reload, and explode, making Riverbank Bruin football relevant and exciting.”