Snyder gets first win as head coach
By EMMETT MCCALL and ROD HECKMAN
Josh Snyder has been part of plenty of Northwestern football victories in his life.
Snyder played four years of varsity football for the Tigers (1994-97), winning 35 games and two District 11 titles during that span. After graduating from Lehigh University, he served as volunteer on the Tiger staff during another District 11 championship season in 2002. The last seven years as a varsity assistant, he has been a part of 40 more Northwestern victories.
Last Friday night against Salisbury, Snyder enjoyed another victory at Northwestern. But this one was different. This one was his first as the Tigers' head coach.
"It felt really nice," said Snyder. "It was my first home game as a head coach and after how the opener went the week before (a 41-0 loss to Palisades), I'd be lying if I said that I was able to treat it like any other game I've been a part of on that field.
"I had a very different feeling all day Friday. I guess I was feeling a little uneasy. When you're a player, you can control what's happening on the field and when you're an assistant coach, you don't have nearly the same amount of responsibilities you have as a head coach. So I can honestly say that I never really felt that way about a game before."
Northwestern made sure that Snyder's uneasiness didn't last long. The Tigers rolled to a 23-0 victory, giving their rookie head coach his first victory.
"I was actually more excited for our kids than anything," said Snyder about his postgame feelings. "I'm really proud of how they bounced back from our opening loss.
"I talked to them after the Palisades game and told them they could go into a shell or they could dedicate themselves to getting better and turning things around and that's exactly what they did."
Snyder said that as gratifying as it was to see the improvement in his team between week one and two of the season, they can't be satisfied.
"As players and coaches, we don't talk a lot about long term goals," said Snyder. "But I told them that one goal we will always have is to play at least 11 games a season.
"That didn't change after the Palisades game. I think for the most part that both the league and district races are going to be wide open and if we keep improving we can be part of that."
Wins and District 11 titles are something that Snyder has become very familar with during his years at Northwestern. He's determined to continue that in his new capacity as head coach.