On the defensive

On the sidelines of Blevins Memorial Stadium, two different personalities manage the defensive side of the ball on Friday nights.

Coach Reed May is in your face, old-school, firing up his players, while defensive coordinator Shane Fallis is quiet and controlled with the boys.

It’s a yin-yang complex that’s worked for the Braves.

After 21 years of coaching across the state, Fallis almost stepped away from football.

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Following an overhaul with Seymour’s program, in 2011, Fallis wasn’t sure if it was time to step away from the sport for at least a brief time.

“Four years ago, when I was finished coaching at Seymour I thought I was going to stay out all together,” Fallis said. “I was contacted by some other programs in the area and talked to Coach (Reed) May and they had an opening.”

Fallis, originally from Hagerstown, first met May in his college days.

When Fallis was getting recruited to play football at Franklin College, May was coaching on the Grizzlies’ sidelines.

“I’ve known coach May a long time, really since high school, since he was an assistant coach at Franklin College,” Fallis said.

“He was there when I was recruiting. I always had a lot of respect for him, and I thought it would be a great opportunity to work with the program here in Brownstown.”

In Fallis’ defense, fundamentals come first.

“The defense was pretty good to start with when I got here,” Fallis said. “I’m a pretty big believer in the fundamentals and doing the small things. Defensively, we pursue the ball and gang tackle. Preparation is also key, you need to know how to react to all the different situations with hesitating.

“They’re very hard playing, tough-nosed kids. It’s a quick defense that’s not particularly big. They do a good job of flying to the ball. They have pride in being technically sound and being in the right spot to make plays.”

In his 25th overall year of coaching football Fallis has filled roles, including head coaching jobs, and had a very successful stint as a defensive coordinator at Vincennes Lincoln.

“We’re glad to have (Fallis),” May said.”He’s been a defensive coordinator at Vincennes Lincoln and Seymour. We knew he had great experience on the defensive side of the ball. He brings some experience and I can talk to things about him offensively and defensively.”

Other stops for Fallis have included Churubusco, Eastern Howard and Pike Central schools.

With a large group of seniors graduating from last year’s team, Fallis has enjoyed teaching more aspects of the game to some less-experienced players.

“This is a really enjoyable group of boys (this season),” Fallis said. “We’re a lot younger and less experienced than we’ve been the last couple years. It’s been nice to see new kids step into roles. They’ve had great work ethic and enthusiasm; they’re very coachable.

“It’s hard seeing the senior class leave, but it’s also kind of exciting to see new players come in especially if the leaving seniors had started two or three years. The part you love about teaching the game kind of gets renewed with a young group.”

While defense is mostly the focus as a whole, Fallis also coaches slot receivers for the Braves and works with the defensive backs.

Fallis brings a winning attitude to the Braves’ coaching staff.

“We want to get better every week, which sounds like coach speak, but we want to keep getting sharper,” Fallis said.”You get to see different schemes each week, which allows the defense work on different things. Ultimately, we want to be our best at playoff time. Individual wins and conference is nice, but our goal is first and foremost winning a sectional and then going from there.”

Outside of football, Fallis teaches advanced history courses at Seymour High School.

“The kids really like him,” May said of Fallis. “During the preseason, when I wasn’t here, he worked on some different things with the kids and some of the coaches told me that he does a really good job of explaining things. I think that, at times, he can explain things to the kids better than I can. He’s a great coach and teacher. Anytime you’re a great teacher you can also be a great coach.”

Fallis said that he plans on continuing to coach for at least a few more years.

“At this point, it’s kind of a year-to-year things,” Fallis said. “As long as I’m still enjoying myself and it’s OK with my family I will keep doing it for the foreseeable future. I have two daughters, 18 and 21 years old, so we always take that into account. I don’t see myself stopping in the foreseeable future.”

Coaches' awards

The Brownstown Central High School varsity football coaches have announced awards for Friday’s 51-27 win over Paoli.

Earning honors are Gavin Bane, Offensive Back MVP; Tanner Bell, Offensive Line MVP; Jacob Brewer, Defensive Line/Inside Linebacker MVP; John McKinney, Defensive Back/Dime MVP; Derek Rieckers, Special Teams MVP; Payton Barker, Scout Team MVP; Clayton Wilkerson, Cam Shoemaker, black jersey winners.

Catch the Braves

What: Charlestown (2-0) at Eastern (Pekin) (1-1)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Radio: 96.3-WJAA

Where: Pekin field

Last outing: Brownstown Central def. Charlestown 46-14, Pekin def. Clarksville 28-7.

Most recent meeting: Brownstown Central won 62-3 on Sept. 5, 2014

Series past 30 years: Brownstown Central 8-0

Jordan Morey is sports editor at The (Seymour) Tribune. He can be reached at jmorey@tribtown.com or 812-523-7069.