By Brad Morris
AMANDA — Chet Saum grew up idolizing the players that ran out from under the goal post of the south end zone in The Pit and the tradition that is Amanda-Clearcreek football.
Now, the 2012 graduate of Amanda-Clearcreek High School, will get his chance to lead the Aces out from under the goal post as head football coach, pending approval by the district’s board of education.
“Football has been part of my life since I was a little kid, going to games in The Pit and idolizing the guys that played on Friday nights for Coach (Ron) Hinton and Coach (Jeff) Arndt and then getting the opportunity to play myself in high school,” Saum said.
“I have a deep respect for what Coach Hinton and Coach Arndt achieved here and what Amanda-Clearcreek football means to this community, and it’s humbling to be picked to lead our football program.”
Saum, 29, previously coached for three seasons under former head coach Scott Hinton as the team’s receivers coach and the junior varsity offensive coordinator from 2014-16.
Saum graduated with a bachelor of science in sustainable plant systems from The Ohio State University in 2016. He is a 2012 graduate of Amanda-Clearcreek High School, where he was a three-year varsity letterman in football and track. He currently works for his family-owned operation, Saum Farms.
As a first-time head coach, Saum wants to shape a staff that has a mixture of experience and youthful energy.
“I have some guys in mind for the staff, but we’re still early in that process,” Saum said. “Foremost, we want people who are dedicated to the kids we will be coaching and have a tremendous love for the game.
“We’re going to have some coaches who will have a lot of experience that I can use as a resource as a first-time head coach and maybe float an idea or get their take on something. We’ll also have some younger guys on the staff that I coached as an assistant who will bring some extra juice and energy.”
Besides Hinton and Arndt, Saum said four other coaches he played or coached for will help shape the coach he is.
“My dad, Doug, was a biddy coach for 15 years and he instilled in me the discipline and preparation that I’ll have as head coach,” he coach. “(Mark Jones), who is now over at Logan Elm, was my position coach and I remember how detailed he was with our coverages and teaching them.
“My brother Nate was a coach in college and then here at Amanda-Clearcreek, and I always looked up to him and the way he conducted himself and then getting to work for Scott Hinton and seeing the way he ran the program and his dedication. “
Saum discussed the general principles that he wants the Aces to have on offense and defense.
“We’re going to tailor what we do on offense and defense to our kids and put them in the best position we can for them to have success,” he said. “Generally, we want to have an offense that can establish control of the line of scrimmage, run the football and control the game and the pace of the game. On defense, we want to be as disciplined as possible, play with a high motor and get our hats to the football.
“Football has changed some and we need to adapt to those changes, but the game still starts at the point of attack, controlling the line of scrimmage and being very physical. We also want to be very disciplined, so we take care of the football and don’t commit stupid penalties that put you behind the chains or give the opponent a big break.”
Saum takes over for Steve Daulton, who resigned last November after five seasons at the helm with a record of 28-25. Daulton guided the Aces to a Mid-State League Buckeye Division championship and three playoff wins in his first four seasons before going 0-10 last season with the youngest team in the league. It was the first winless season for the Aces since 1973.
Saum wants the Aces to return to their successful ways on the gridiron, and he knows part of that process will include developing his players into young men ready to be successful in life.
“Scott Hinton had a sign in the coaches office that said an Amanda-Clearcreek football coach is a molder of men, and that’s something I firmly believe in,” he said. “Amanda-Clearcreek is a hard-working community of country folks that instill the values of hard work and discipline and those are the building blocks that has led to our success historically, along with kids buying in and having relentless effort and dedication in the classroom, the weight room, on the practice field and on Friday nights. Those are the values that lead to success in life.”
Date Opponent 2022 record
Aug. 18 Linden McKinley 3-6
Aug. 25 at Unioto 9-2
Sept. 1 at Adena 3-7
Sept. 8 Bloom-Carroll 14-2
Sept. 15 at Circleville 5-6
Sept. 22 Hamilton Twp. 6-4
Sept. 29 at Teays Valley 5-5
Oct. 6 at Logan Elm 8-3
Oct. 13 Fairfield Union 5-5
Oct. 20 at Liberty Union 2-8