by Martin McConnell
The Brecksville-Broadview Heights varsity Bees will once again take the field this fall with hopes of capturing a Suburban League title, and perhaps even an OHSAA state championship. After a down season and a 2-8 record last year, the team will be under new, but familiar management.
Jason Black is back in the saddle as the Bees’ head football coach, following a six-year absence. Just as Black had hoped, the majority of the program and its history has stayed the same since he left in 2016.
“We have a lot of Brecksville history coming back in the program of how you do things,” Black said. “A certain way to act, a certain way to play, a certain way to prepare, that Brecksville has always done for 50-some years, and that’s just one of the things that we do.”
Despite the traditional attitude and his commitment to “the Brecksville way,” Black is a coach who thrives on adapting and putting his players in the best position to succeed, rather than trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. He hopes to imprint that versatility onto his team this season.
“One of the things that Brecksville football has always been successful at [is adapting] to your personnel,” Black said. “We can’t line up and just mash you, we just can’t. We don’t have the size. But we have athletes, so we have to put athletes in position to play.”
Black emphasized having trust in his players, and how big that trust factor is in his coaching style. This specific Bees team can thrive on versatility and athleticism, effectively turning the roster into a “Swiss army knife” that always has the right answer to the other team’s formations.
“Offensively, we want our athletes to touch the ball as much as possible,” Black said. “Find the most creative ways to get them the football as much as we can… Defensively, we want to be as fundamentally sound as we possibly can. If that means we’re as basic as a third-grade defense, so be it, but we’re not going to get beat.”
Black highlighted starting quarterback Colin Seibert as a player to watch. As quarterback, Black wants Seibert to become like a basketball point guard, distributing the ball to the Bees’ plethora of athletes, and knowing when and how to feed the hot hand at any point in time.
“Our quarterback has the keys to the Cadillac,” Black said. “He’s got to make a decision every single play… And he’s got to get it to the right person. If you’re giving the ball to Michael Jordan, if there’s somebody draping over Michael Jordan, but you can still get the ball to him? You get the ball to him.”
Above anything else, Black preaches passion for the program both on and off the field. He noted that “max effort” from every player is a necessity in all facets of games, practices, or any other team activities.
“You’re going to give max effort on everything that we do,” Black said. “That’s the Brecksville kid that won. That’s how you win at Brecksville. That kind of kid.”