There’s a new sheriff in town, and putting his foot down is his first job

Sean Fullerton made his mark as Burroughs football’s strength and conditioning coach a season ago, implementing new workouts that gave the undersized Burros a little more pep in their step throughout the year.

Now, he is taking the reins of the freshman squad, combining two jobs: making sure the incoming high-schoolers are physically fit and football fit. 

“We have a lot of good athletes and good linemen coming together day-by-day,” he said. “We’re getting better every day. We have had to relearn some things, but they’re doing alright. I’m pretty pleased with that.” 

While the Burros have historically prided themselves on keeping all three levels – varsity, JV, and freshman – in the same playbook, Fullerton has fit in snugly with that view.

“We keep it simple and focus on repetition,” he said. “We perfect our base plays and use terminology similar to what varsity uses, so if they get promoted to JV or varsity, the terminology is similar. That’s our goal: develop them for the JV and varsity level.”

It doesn’t hurt that Fullerton is sound with his workouts.

“We do a dynamic warm-up before practice, and at the end, I take care of them,” he said. “When we stretch, I teach them those basics. When we condition, I’m sensitive to rest periods. A lot is just the basics: push-ups, sit-ups.”

In the weight room, Fullerton sticks to the basics, while the upperclassmen Burros handle the rest.

“That’s good,” Fullerton said. “I don’t have to teach the freshmen as much as long as I can mix in a couple of older guys who know the system.”

However, especially with the young players, Fullerton shies away from giving conditioning a negative connotation by using it as punishment. But he did have to give his team a teaching moment in discipline, which he got from his prior knowledge. 

“I was fortunate growing up that I had two great parents,” he said. “My mother was a teacher, my father’s a disciplinarian. I had great coaches growing up. My freshman coaches were 100 times harder than me.” 

So, clarity in his rules and expectations, accountability, and a willingness to stay firm helped the new head freshman coach survive the first full week of practice. 

“We had a talk (Thursday) where some of them were struggling to prepare for practice and learn the plays,” Fullerton said. “As a teacher – I’ve taught middle school kids – I know that if they’re struggling with being mentally prepared for football, they’ll struggle with other things. So we try to teach them discipline so that when they are in the classroom, they know how to listen, they know how to be respectful, and they know how to get help if they need help.”