Bill Conides’ St. Stanislaus teams did plenty of winning — often winning big. The now former SSC coach filled the Rockachaws’ non-region schedule with larger opponents in order to test his squad.
They were always looking toward the next game or, routinely, the state championship game. Always on to the bigger game. At one point during his 34-8 run with the Rockachaws, SSC had the mantra “brick by brick,” where the team built a “road” to Oxford, looking toward the inevitable rematch in 2015 against Noxubee County in the Class 4A State Championship Game.
The focus was always on the next; almost never on the now.
“It’s my profession, it’s my job and I want to be a perfectionist at it,” Conides said. “When it’s not perfect, obviously I’m not very happy and want to find ways to improve and get better.”
Reflecting on his three years as head coach at SSC, and what waits for him at Denham Springs, Conides said that mindset may change — not the desire for perfection, but how the Yellow Jackets savor their inevitable victories.
While talking with a college recruiter recently, Conides had a bit of an epiphany.
“He said we need to enjoy the wins more. If I can do anything; if I have learned from this, it’s to enjoy winning and not just say ‘what do we need to do to get ready for next week?’” Conides said. “I think it’s because our expectations have always been high and obviously when those expectations aren’t met you get into a bit of a funk.”
At Denham Springs, a Class 5A school in Louisiana coming off of a three-win season, Conides will have his work cut out for himself.
The rebuilding Conides will endure with the Yellow Jackets goes far beyond the football field as the city was decimated by a historic flood last August.
It’s a challenge Conides is actually looking forward to undertaking.
If we can do our part, by putting together a good football team that folks can be proud of, I really feel like that this can be the face of the ‘new’ Denham Springs.
Bill Conides, former St. Stanislaus football coach
“To me, that’s part of what was so appealing about going over there,” he said. “This is a complete rebuild. Not only just the players you see on a daily basis, but the alumni and younger players; getting everybody involved with the program. All of that made the job really, really appealing.
“My goal is to get into the community and make the players excited about playing football again because ultimately there’s Division I talent that needs to be harnessed, coached up and formed.”
Conides believes that, with some work, the Yellow Jackets can help be a sense of pride for Denham Springs, an uplifting presence while the city continues to rebuild and find its new normal.
“We had experience doing that (rebuilding) here — but from a football perspective. There, we want to rebuild the football program to be the face of the community,” he said. “It’s a small community where football is king and those people deserve to have a football program that they can be proud of. That’s kind of my goal and what I foresee.
“Those folks are still rebuilding. You drive up to Denham Springs, you still see the guts of the houses out at the street. Folks are still rebuilding there and if we can do our part, by putting together a good football team that folks can be proud of, I really feel like that this can be the face of the ‘new’ Denham Springs.”