New Natomas Football Coach has High Hopes for Team

Photo by Jeremiah McWright

Photo by Jeremiah McWright

Photo by Jeremiah McWright

Photo by Jeremiah McWright

BY ANTHONY BARNES, INTERN
THE NATOMAS BUZZ | @natomasbuzz

Coach Ryan Battle faces a challenge in trying to put the Nighthawks football program back on the map, but the newly hired coach has even bigger expectations for his players than just wins on the field.

Battle was an all-state high school football player in the San Francisco Bay Area and also spent time at corner back at Mesa State College and Sacramento State University. A self-proclaimed teacher of the game, Battle says he plans to use his new post as an opportunity to improve Natomas High School athlete’s football technique, should they get a chance to play at the college level.

“I’m a big technician on how to play this sport,” said Battle. “I love the high school age because these guys get sent off to college and college coaches don’t hit the technique part so they are expected to know what to do.”

Natomas High football is currently 0-4 and hosts Foothill High School 7 p.m. tonight for homecoming.

After a shoulder injury ended his collegiate career, Battle began training athletes at Sacramento State. It was at this point that he was asked by his former defensive back coach if he wanted to start coaching.

“I told him sure,” said Battle. “He actually recommended me over to the head coach at Sacramento High to start coaching.”

After spending two years at Sacramento High, Battle found himself at Natomas High this fall as the head coach. When asked about his expectations for the team, Battle said improving his players – as both athletes and students – were his focus.

“Playoffs, wins, it isn’t anything I think about,” he said. “It’s getting over the learning curve.”
“We don’t really have a great reputation, so I would like to change that to have better student athletes understanding the game of football better and just getting over this hump of being mediocre.”

Battle praised his team of coaches, the school administration and the support provided him.

“I have an incredible team of admin working with me that is giving me the support that I need as a first time head coach and they are supporting our football team very well,” said Battle.

“We have after school snacks. Instead of them going to practice hungry, we feed them, we have the study hall program that they get every day,” Battle said. “Since I’m a credentialed teacher, they can pick my brain, so not only do they have coaches but also teachers. It’s the best of both worlds.”

Photo by Jeremiah McWright

Photo by Jeremiah McWright

nhsfoot5

Photo by Jeremiah McWright

nhsfoot1

Photo by Jeremiah McWright