Cain making most of first weeks at Sherman

Jason Della Rosa
Herald Democrat

As the last week of the school year comes to an end, Cory Cain feels he has just been getting started.

The new Sherman head football coach has tried to cram in as much as possible since he was hired a little more than three weeks ago due to the fact there was only a certain amount of time before summer began, along with the limited interactions which come in those months, and it would be until August before a bulk of his work might take place.

“It’s a good crazy. It’s probably close to 1,000 people I’ve met with,” Cain said. “You think you’re ready but you’re never ready. You go into a new job and there’s going to be unique and interesting challenges.”

A change to the usual routine was the lack of spring football. Normally a staple for him this time of year at Allen, Cain wasn’t able to put that in place because of the timing of his hire and Sherman hasn’t been holding spring practices, so there wasn't a schedule for it already in place.

The Bearcats will have two scrimmages — at Denton and hosting Princeton — before kicking off the season with the 123rd Battle of the Ax against Denison at Bearcat Stadium on Aug. 27.

“We’ve done a lot of football the last three weeks. I didn’t know how much football we’de get to teach but I’m very pleased. They’ve picked things up very quickly,” Cain said. “Going in I knew we weren’t going to have spring football. I attacked it that way. We’re going to get everything ready for fall camp and then put the pieces together.”

Cain was sitting in his office, with a pyramid of mini-helmets stacked above his desk. There are 52 of them — he pointed out he was about to have to add another — because each logo represents a Division I program or NFL franchise where a player he coached ended up. There’s a dozen helmets with more than one autograph on them.

During Cain’s 15-year run at Allen, there were 192 players who signed to play in college — regardless of the level — an average of almost 13 per season.

It is a reminder of his success with the Eagles, a stretch that includes five state championships, four other state semifinal appearances and a 195-15 overall record.

That’s a great reputation to have coming in, but it is now his past. Making Sherman successful is his future.

“My main focus was getting to know the coaching staff and the kids,” Cain said. “Building the relationships, it’s such a big thing. The relationships always end up being the biggest part.”

One of the first orders of business was to put together his staff.

“I didn’t force anybody to leave. There were coaches who left for their reasons and there were guys who wanted to stay and help and teach these kids,” Cain said. “The guys who stayed are rock stars. They’ve really taken to what we’re about.”

Cain has brought in four coaches, including a pair that will serve in coordinator roles, and will be adding one more in the coming weeks.

Justin Dozier is the offensive coordinator and Andrew Harlow is the co-defensive coordinator with an emphasis on the defensive line. The new hire will shift roles around to eventually name the assistant who will share those defensive coordinator duties with Harlow.

Dozier had been at Allen for the past five seasons as the wide receivers coach and served as Van Alstyne’s offensive coordinator before that.

Harlow is also coming from Allen and was the junior varsity defensive coordinator — a position that had him oversee both of the Eagles’ JV squads which contained 100 players each.

The third assistant Cain brought over from Allen is Bo Gill, who will be the assistant head coach and offensive line coach, which was his position group with the Eagles.

The final addition to the staff has Allen ties as a player. Cole Carter was on two state champions at receiver and comes to Sherman from Mesquite. He has been on the defensive side of the ball as an assistant and will continue there with outside linebackers for the Bearcats.