‘I get goose bumps when I walk out on the field’: Jake Dickert makes fall-camp debut as WSU soccer coach

PULLMAN — After finishing his first fall-camp apply as a head soccer coach, Jake Dickert was requested concerning the significance of that milestone.

He’s already checked off a number of “firsts” because the chief of Washington State’s program. His first win, as an illustration, got here practically 9 months in the past.

But Wednesday little question marked an important day for Dickert. His employees is full, his roster is stuffed out and his requirements are firmly in place. Now, the work can really start. The Cougars’ preseason opener at Rogers Field was the correct debut of his “New Wazzu.”

“I get goose bumps when I walk out on the field,” Dickert mentioned. “It’s because I’m a football guy and I love fall camp. I love being out here with the guys.

“I’m sure there’ll be many (first-time experiences). You never stop going through that list as you go throughout your career. But to have an opportunity to put a stamp on a fall camp with what our vision is — how we see football at Washington State, and that blue-collar toughness — it’s fun and exciting for me.”

WSU performed its first fall apply of the Dickert period in sunny circumstances and with a bunch of newcomers within the fold. Cougar assistants — eight of them employed this offseason — oversaw particular person drills in between energetic group intervals pitting WSU’s thrilling new model of Air Raid offense in opposition to a well-recognized model of turnover-minded protection.

“As I saw today, the energy of the new staff, with what they bring — you stand on the sideline, you feel our coaches,” Dickert mentioned. “I want our guys to understand that. You’re going to feel them because they care about you.”

Dickert break up time between the 2 apply areas on the facility. One facet of Rogers Field was designated for youthful gamers and the opposite for the extra skilled Cougars. Dickert needs WSU to be a “player-led” group, and was happy with what he heard from the Cougars’ veteran standouts whereas he supervised the newbies.

“Every time I’m down on the ‘young field’, you could just hear the reverberations of what you want,” Dickert mentioned. “We talked about it last night at our team meeting: Because we have a veteran group, it should be loud. Communication should be everywhere.

“I love to hear the noise. I love to hear those guys taking command. I told the group, ‘I’m hearing power language from the old guys.’ … They’re taking ownership and doing things the right way, and that’s the biggest thing I’ll lean into as we go through fall camp.”

WSU’s returning nucleus of mature gamers had helped ease Dickert’s transition right into a head-coaching position. He earned the everlasting place in late November after lower than two months as performing boss. Those gamers then purchased absolutely into his philosophies. They have expressed admiration for Dickert’s sincerity and dedication, and the tradition of accountability he instituted at WSU.

“This year, I think we just have such spirit,” edge rusher Brennan Jackson mentioned. “You can see that the guys care about each other. They love each other. We got a really special team here. All of (Dickert’s) values, we believe in — our best every single day, on and off the field, period. Shoot, we all believe it and it’s going to be a great year.”

WSU solely practiced in helmets on Wednesday and emphasised the fundamental particulars of its schemes however nonetheless placed on a good present for the sizable gathering of media members in attendance. Much of the eye was targeted on quarterback Cameron Ward and his deep corps of pass-catchers, and the continued set up of the fast-paced “Coug Raid” system.

“I feel like we’re right where we need to be going into Sept. 3,” mentioned Ward, who operated the identical offense over the previous two seasons at Incarnate Word. “It’s still day-by-day progressions. We’re still adding little things, but (my teammates) have the base offense down. … They know everything. It’s just me giving little pointers.”

WSU continues fall camp with one other padless session at 8:30 a.m. Thursday and can apply every single day besides Sundays till the educational 12 months begins on Aug. 22. The Cougars open their season at house Sept. 3 in opposition to Idaho.

It gained’t be his first recreation because the Cougars’ full-time head coach — that was the Sun Bowl on Dec. 31 in El Paso, Texas. But the Battle of the Palouse will mark a big event for Dickert. The opener will function the in-game debut of the “New Wazzu,” the primary probability for Dickert to current his rebranded program in entrance of an viewers.

Asked a follow-up query about his “goose bumps” comment and his appreciation for the chance to place his stamp on WSU, Dickert replied earnestly.

“I have a lot of pride in Washington State. I have a lot of pride in this place and I have a lot of pride in this program. When I see these guys coming out of the gates, I’m the director of their future and I’m invested in them. I always tell them, even though it’s a team game, I want what’s best for each and every one of them. I think that’s important. Whenever you lose that, that’s when I know it’ll be time for me to go. Right now, I’m just excited to be out here and passionate about having a good first day.”

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