Bridgeport’s Tyler Phares completes Day 1 of first season as Indians head coach

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BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. – Monday marked the start of preseason practices for high school fall sports teams across the state.

In Bridgeport, the Indians football team was on the field bright and early for its first practice of the 2021 football season.

As is normally the case, not much as changed for Bridgeport.

But one change is obvious: Tyler Phares has taken over the reigns as head coach of the program, and he completed Day 1 of his first season in charge on Monday.

“The real work starts in January, none of this is really that different or that strange,” said Phares at Monday’s practice. “It’s actually more comforting now because it’s X’s and O’s and it’s football, so, everything’s been going well so far. We’re excited for the season.”

Bridgeport went 7-1 last year in its first season back at the Triple-A level, which also ended up being the final season with John Cole in charge of the program.

Bridgeport football players conduct offensive drills during the first day of practices on Monday. (Photo by Ryan Decker / WBOY)

Coach Cole is back, solely, with the lineman, and Phares, the former OC is now in charge.

For the first day of practice, the Indians are looking to build off the work they put in during the offseason.

“It’s exciting. The kids have been working hard all summer, and are starting to see payoff. We’re starting to put the pieces in the right places,” said Phares. “Yeah it’s a reteaching period. We’re trying our best to get young kids that weren’t here caught up, or the older kids that weren’t here caught up, and then just a lot of install right now, going to the right places before pads come on.”

Phares taking over the reigns isn’t the only change at Wayne Jamison Field, as the press box on the home side is also undergoing some renovations.

But the beat rolls on for the Indians.

The 12 Sports High School Football Previews series will begin next week.

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