Sound Bites: Interview with Ithaca High School Football Head Coach Clarence Welch


By Tim Donnelly

ESPN Ithaca


Recently on ESPN Ithaca’s Between the Lines, host Tim Donnelly spoke with Ithaca High School Football Head Coach Clarence Welch. After seven consecutive season-opening losses, Welch led Ithaca to a 51-8 victory over Oswego to open their 2018 schedule. Here is a snippet of that conversation; to hear the full interview, visit ESPN Ithaca’s on-demand PodCenter at


Tim Donnelly: 51-8 at Oswego, how is that for an introduction to you being the head coach of the program?

Clarence Welch: It feels really good. I’m actually really happy for our kids, our team, the program. You know it’s been seven years since we’ve won a season opener, but to even just get a win in the first game, I’m really excited for the kids.

TD: Did you expect it? Like you said, it’s been a while since this team was able to put a tally in the victory column the first week of the season.

CW: Honestly, we just expected the kids to play hard and to execute, do their assignments and hopefully get the W like we did. To put that many points on the board, I can honestly tell you ‘no’ we didn’t expect that. That obviously puts a big smile on my face, the coaching staff and the kids. It just shows that their hard work paid off.


TD: Now, I know that you were bringing some new elements to the team, some new schemes. How were you able to get them to adopt those new schemes, buy-in, know their assignments essentially in one off-season?

CW: Going back to what I said during the preseason and in the very beginning, it’s just keeping that up-tempo practice, the up-tempo momentum, and just trying to rep as much as we can in practice. You know, learn by doing and just doing it fast.


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Between the Lines with Tim Donnelly can be heard weekdays 4-6 p.m. on ESPN Ithaca (1160 AM/107.1 FM) and at


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