Video: Riley Dempsey's highlights vs. Mount Desert Island
See the senior running back help lead Wells to the state title.
won the Maine Class C State Championship in 2016 as head coach Tim Roche led the Warriors to an 11-1 record. Wells has had 12 winning seasons in the past 13 years and also won the 2001 state title; an impressive run no doubt.What does your football program do differently from other programs in your league, conference or state that helped you win a state championship?
I am not sure if it is that much different, but it will probably be the theme I return to: We stress team first. It's not window dressing, we practice it. We spend lots of time together with the kids on non-football stuff — movies, field trips, etc. We are constantly around our kids. What do you consider to be the most important aspect of your state championship?
The most important thing is the way football can bring a community together. We are a small school of around 440, but we pack every game. We have the biggest crowds at the state game, and we have a giant parade after the win. We go to the lower schools to show the kids what hard work can get you. Our community and kids buy in together.What is one piece of advice that you would give to a coach wanting to win a state championship?
It is work. It's never easy. You have to be lucky, but most important you have to put in the work. Also, hire the best assistants you can find and trust them to do the job you want.
What kind of offense did you run? How do you feel that this offense gives you an advantage in your league, section, conference, etc?
We run the Wing-T. Everyone is going away from this and spreading it out. So when they come to play us that week, it must be hard. I picture it like a big college school preparing for Army or Navy. It is hard to get your scout team to duplicate what they do.Do you incorporate some type of character development program within your football program? If so, what program do you use?
We do a lot of character things in our program. We are lucky enough to have a former Commander of the Navy Seals as part of our program. He works with our kids on all aspects of teamwork, leadership and character. The kids love him and work very hard to gain his respect.
The other thing we do is a community service type of thing where we have a night for our veterans. We honor them pregame and halftime. We introduce every veteran before the game instead of our players. The players escort them out. The whole town is decorated in flags and everyone comes. We raise money to help some local vets. We also visit the grave sites of veterans in town and put small flags on the graves. We have many scattered sites around town from all the way back to Revolutionary War. The kids have really bought in through this program and make a big deal out of it. What is the number one obstacle you face in building a championship-caliber football program in your community?
Wow, this is a tough one because I really don't think I have any obstacles from the community. I do not like the way our state athletic board is trying to limit much of what we do. They do some of this under the guise of safety, but it hampers those programs that work hard and do the right thing.Chris Fore is a veteran Head Football Coach and Athletic Director from Southern California. He consults coaches and programs nationwide through his business Eight Laces Consulting.