NEW PALESTINE – A year ago, New Palestine’s football team spent the fall rewriting the school’s record books while going 13-1 and advancing to the semistate.
If coach Kyle Ralph has his way, that was just the beginning.
The Dragons aren’t necessarily looking for an encore. They’re looking to build off the foundation that was laid a year ago in a “transition year” to the new style, program and emphasis Ralph brought to NPHS.
A year ago, the team was getting ready for its third head coach in three years. Now, it’s time to build.
“The major focus is that it’s now time to start building a program,” said Ralph, the fifth head coach in New Palestine’s football history. “It’s different than a transition year. Expectations rise, the commitment level has to rise, the effort has to rise.
“We set a pretty high bar in Year 1 with 13 wins. Whether we have that success this year, I don’t know, but the kids understood what it meant to now begin the shift into creating an actual program and a legacy and a brand of New Palestine football. That’s something I’m really proud of, that they’ve carried that torch through this offseason.”