Social Studies teacher William Bellers, who has been Pioneer’s JV football coach for the past four seasons, will step into the varsity job next season. Pioneer junior linebacker Patrick Partin, who played for Coach Bellers on JV, said Bellers “cares about his players like they’re family,” and that “he strives to bring the best out of every single player.”
Bellers has already gotten off to a fast start since being hired in February. When he was hired, one of the first tasks he had was to replace all of the coaches who departed alongside Jari Brown. Bellers looked inside the Pioneer building to fill his first varsity coaching staff. “It was a big priority of mine to hire from within as much as I could,” Bellers said. “I talked to quite a few teachers because I wanted those relationships that are already built between teachers and students. It was very important to get as many teachers on the staff as we could.” While John Los, a Pioneer community assistant who was also a coach under Brown, is staying on to coach with Bellers, special education teacher John Conley, social studies teacher Jeremy Kucera, and English teacher Russell Sansbury are new assistant coaches that many Pioneer Students will be familiar with.
Another change that Bellers made was getting his players more involved in in the community, reading to students at nearby elementary schools. “We’ve been able to read to students at Eberwhite, Dicken, and Bach. It’s beneficial to us in the long run because it brings out the best in our guys when they’re around kids,” he said. Bellers also wants his players to take pride in the school building, so the team participated in Pioneer Cleanup Day. “This as our home, and we need to take pride in it,” Bellers said.
Since Bellers wants the community to support the football program, he believes it’s very important that his program supports its community. He also places a lot of weight on making sure his players are model students and citizens. “These are things that coming in I knew I wanted,” he said. “I want our guys busy doing positive things. Doing things the right way, making this program something that helps our guys become better people down the road is a big part of it.” He added that success isn’t measured in just wins and losses. “It’s what these students do way after we’re done with them that matters,” he said.
Bellers is already putting his stamp on the football side of things as well. “Our mantra for this year is ‘one,’” he said, “As a team we are one, for me it’s year one, and we’re taking everything one day at a time. We aren’t looking at the end right now; we are looking at today. It’s our mantra because we are taking it one step at a time, one rep at a time, one play at a time, because we are building a foundation for what is the future of Pioneer football.”