Wade Waldrup brings much experience to Lawton football program

Matthew Day • couriersports@vineyardpress.biz
New Lawton High School head football coach Wade Waldrup, right, runs his varsity Blue Devils squad through drills during summer practices. Waldrup replaces longtime co-coaches Kyle and Tony Karsen. Though the academic school year begins after Labor Day, the 2019 football season opened this week for area teams.  Hot Shotz Photography/Matthew Day

   LAWTON - The Lawton Blue Devils charged the field Thursday night behind new head varsity football coach Wade Waldrup. Waldrup has two pair of big shoes to fill as he steps into the position held cooperatively by brothers Tony and Kyle Karsen.
   Seniors Dustin Noble and Harrison Maynard expressed different views, but the same positive attitude about transitioning to a new coach in their final season. Both feel Coach Waldrup has the team going in the right direction, though Maynard said nothing is done the same as the Karsen brothers. Noble sees the team’s work so far as a continuation of what the players already know.    
   Waldrup has brought a different style of play to Lawton, but was quick to note, his offense will not be running the Wing T.  “While it can be a very successful offense,” he said,  “it is ugly to watch.”
   Like the Karsen brothers, Waldrup exhibits a solid work ethic, with a mission to build good boys into fine young men. He said the team’s transition has been fairly easy, as the Karsens had laid a really good foundation and left him a program that was still strong. He added that the players are acclimating to his methods quickly and are very easy to work with because they have had the necessary discipline instilled already.  
   Waldrup last served as defensive coordinator for the Mattawan High School team, and prior to that, ran the defense at Constantine for 10 years. He brings all that experience to Lawton. 
   His enthusiasm spills over into his “day job,” as he has the opportunity to talk a little football there. Waldrup is a teacher at Mattawan High School, where his classroom is in the same hallway as those of two other area coaches/teachers. Paw Paw High School head coach Matt Stephens and Mattawan head coach Ryan Brown may be found chatting with Waldrup between classes, sharing strategies and game plans with each other. They talk freely, as their teams play in three different conferences, and their tips and tricks will not be used against them in competition.
   Waldrup and his Blue Devils are poised for the new season and ready to show their talents to their fans at Packer-Armstrong Stadium, and to their foes across the Southwestern Athletic Conference.


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