There has been a palpable buzz in the community since Mark Fischer announced he was returning to the sidelines of Louisa on Feb 12. We sat down with Fischer for a one-on-one interview to ask him questions about the move, the team and the future.
The Central Virginian: First off coach, how is your health (Fischer was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in Sep. of 2012)?
Mark Fischer: I feel good. I’m in 100 percent remission. I probably feel better than I have in five or six years, honestly. When you have something like cancer, typically, it creeps its way up on you, and I just felt sicker and sicker. But now, I feel as good as ever. I’m hungry as ever. I’m ready to just get rolling. I’m excited to be really feeling good for the first time in five or six years.
CV – Since you accepted the head coaching position in February, you’ve met with the team a few times. How would you characterize the players?
MF – I see a good, hungry, young bunch of kids that have a lot of upside. I like what I see from the bigs. We’ve got a long ways to go, there’s no doubt about it. They’re young, they have good size. We’ve got to get a lot stronger and a lot more physical, but that’s fixable. Nothing is broke. With some more discipline, we can get this thing back on track. I’m excited about the future.
CV – Last year’s 3-7 season was a rough one for Lions fans. Is it too high of an expectation for fans to assume immediate success in your first year back?
MF – Well, we were 3-7 my first year at Louisa and 8-3 in my second. It’s a matter of the kids and timing. A lot goes into having a successful season. We’re going to think like every other team in the nation, which is to win every game we play, but right now all I want my kids thinking about is getting ready for Spotsylvania (the 2014 season opener). That’s the only game on the schedule, and it’s the only game that exists right now for us.
CV – How would you describe yourself to an up-and-coming player in the Louisa football program?
MF – Hopefully, I’m a fair guy who loves his kids. I have big expectations, higher than are attainable. We’ll never be satisfied. I’ll never be satisfied. We could win by 50 or by one, there’s still always room for improvement. You better have the hunger and the passion to be successful if you want to play. We’re going to look for those kids that are committed to the team.
CV – Critics have been quick to point out your 8-22 record at St. James High School. How do you explain that lack of success on the field?
MF – To be honest with you, I didn’t do a very good job. I never will put any blame of that on anyone but me, so at the end of the day, if we didn’t win ballgames like people wanted us to, I’ll take all the blame for it and move on. We worked hard, our kids tried as hard as they could, we coached as hard as we could, and if you look away from the record and at other aspects of the program, we made huge strides. Bottom line is that I’m the head coach, so I take full responsibility for the records, I also take full responsibility for things that improved off the field. I’m perfectly good with the effort and work ethic that I put into that program.
To read the entire story, see the March 13 edition of The Central Virginian.