Trust the System

Coach Dodds started planting seeds when he arrived at Copper Hills. The players who have put trust in him are reaping the rewards.


Photo by Marshal McIff - Coach Corey Dodds and sophomore Benji Manuha

Hailey Winn, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Copper Hills football beat Taylorsville 33-7 on August 16,  Hillcrest 21-0 on August 23, and Cottonwood 49-0 on August 30. They also beat Providence Hall 49-6. They are 4-0 for the first time ever. This might be the first time the community is noticing the progress, but it’s the result of years of work. Coach Dodds and a plethora of other coaches have been working to develop a successful football program for years now. 


“I feel like we [football] are kind of like the last strand [sport in our school], because we aren’t seeing immediate success. I’ve got a lot of kids that bail on the system really quickly,” says Coach Dodds, “But they talk about the Chinese Bamboo tree that takes five years to even start sprouting, but within the first 12 months it sprouts 90 feet. The question is raised, did the bamboo trees take five years to sprout or did it take 12 months? Well, it took five years. You had to water the soil and take care of something, even though there’s nothing coming up. It looks like you’re kinda insane, sitting there watering dirt.” 


Even though the football team’s success is taking place now, it’s not sudden. It’s happening because Coach Dodds, the assistant coaches, and other players took time to believe in, trust, and implement a new system. “They’ve really taken more to the system…They’ve already had time to learn the swing of how I do things, and they are on the upswing now. It’s not a shell shock, like, ‘oh this coach has a booming voice, he’s screaming at me.’…So even before I’m about to do something, these guys will self-correct.”  The players understand the way a practice is run, and are able to trust the system. 


Trusting the system is evidently paying off for the team, but coaching alone doesn’t make a team great. Coach Dodds was also sure to highlight the work that this group has put in, “They (players in the past) weren’t about putting in the grind to earn anything. Where this group, so far, seems a little bit more hungry. They put in a lot of work. They work really, really hard.” The dedication that this group has put into the system allowed the Copper Hills Football tree to shoot up 12-feet. The progress the team has made isn’t by chance, it’s by choice.


It makes sense that the players didn’t immediately buy into the program, and Coach Dodds understood this. When he played at the University of Utah, Urban Meyer started coaching. “[He] showed up [at the University of Utah] and he kind of took us to another level that we didn’t realize that we could be at,” explained Coach Dodds. Urban Meyers did that by forcing the players to look in the mirror, and the players didn’t like that. They really resisted the change, like Dodds said some of the players at Copper Hills resisted the change. 


After playing in college and getting in trouble, Dodds missed NFL opportunities and decided to play arena football. After a few years, he was injured and decided to go into coaching. After learning to reinvent himself over and over, Coach Dodds decided that he wanted to pass his ability to do so onto his players. “ My story keeps being re-created over and over…of me just trying to reinvent myself. Really, out of all of that, what I want to convey to the kids is never get stuck thinking that, ‘This is who I am,’…I want my guys to be able to grow, to get out of old habits and create new habits that are conducive to their growth…That’s really it, that’s all (I want to community to know about me)…I love these guys, I just want them to have success.” 


The system, coaching staff, and players are here and ready. Dodds says, “I just want people to know that I will sit here watering dirt as long as I can. I need people to come, believe in the system, and bring their athletes. Let’s do this as a school.”