116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
IOWA CITY — If it isn’t broke, then don’t try to fix it.
Of course, you can tinker with it, which is exactly what Jason Dumont will do in his first year as Iowa City Regina head football coach.
“Obviously, everything on the field — the Xs and Os — are going to stay the same,” said Dumont, a longtime Regals assistant and defensive coordinator who took over when Marv Cook resigned in May. “Roles are going to stay the same. I’m grateful the staff is all sticking around.
“There are some things we’re going to add from a practice standpoint, some administrative things and something we want to do for service projects. Other than that it is going to be the same.”
Regina began the post-Cook era Monday with the first official day of practice for high school football programs across the state. The Regals closed last season with the Class A state championship, earning the program’s eighth crown overall and seventh under Cook.
“The expectation hasn’t changed,” senior Sam Aitchison said. “It is always a state championship and that’s what it continues to be.”
The focus isn’t on past accolades or previous coaches. The new season comes with a new quest and last year’s title trophy isn’t good for any points or wins this fall.
“His biggest message is earn it,” lineman Aidan Udell said. “It is the motto that we’ve gone with this year.
“We’re in the new season. Nothing carries over. You have to earn it. Everyone starts 0-0 and has to earn what they get. We’re striving for what we want. That trophy means nothing now.”
Dumont is implementing service projects to help players become well-rounded. They are also planning for guest speakers to come in each Thursday. Dumont wants to add to the program beyond football.
“At our parents meeting, Coach Dumont was point blank and said we don’t have anyone on this team who’s going to be making $10 million on Sundays,” Aitchison said. “He said his job is to make us the best young men we can be in every aspect of our life and be successful down the road. Football is just a way to teach those lessons.”
Dumont was pleased with last week’s training camp. Practice consisted of around 50 Regals split among four different groups. Regina offensive coordinator Ed Hinkel was working with offensive skill players. Dumont was working with the linebackers and secondary personnel on coverages.
The linemen were working on footwork and agility, while another group worked on blocking.
The roles remain constant and Dumont will continue to delegate duties like Cook.
“The good thing is I have so much trust in my coaching staff I don’t have to worry about it,” Dumont said. “It’s easy just to say this is what we are installing today and walk away from it to go coach my position. I don’t have to worry about any of those guys. I know it’s getting done the right way.”
The Regals were 10-1 last year but lost a large percentage of their offense with the graduation of quarterback Ashton Cook, wide receiver Alec Wick and running back Theo Kolie. Regina does return four linemen in Udell, Josh Gaffey, Andrew Wiese and Caden Shetler. The guys in the trenches and an experienced defensive unit will be this year’s strengths.
“We have seven or eight returning starters, but you’re not going to replace an Ashton or an Alec Wick,” Dumont said. It just won’t happen.
“We feel good about what we’ve got right now. If we can get all the pieces meshing together, we’ll find out pretty soon how good we are.”