Scott Gillian has been coaching since 1987. Through the 26 years that Gillian has coached, he’s been involved in five State championship games, three which came with Webster Groves High School.
“My high school coaches and the opportunity to volunteer coach with the seventh grade football team while I was in college was a big reason that I started coaching,” Gillian said.
About his favorite Turkey Day moment Gillian said, “Adrian Clayborn. When Adrian Clayborn leveled Mike McNeil right before halftime in the 2004 game; it was one of the hardest hits I’ve ever seen.”
“Our team has talent,” Gillian said. “We have the talent to beat any team we play.”
Three-year starter for Gillian’s offensive line Alex Roberts said, “Coach G is a heck of a coach. Yeah, he gets annoying sometimes when he yells, but he gets on you when you mess up, and he gives you a pat on the back, when you do something well.”
Robert Lacy has coached since 2002 and in his 11-year run has helped coach to two State championships.
Coach Lacy works with quarterbacks, and sophomore starting quarterback Robert Thomson said, “I think he’s doing a great job. He’s doing his best and has taught me a lot of what I know. He puts me in a position to make plays for my team, and every day I work with him I learn something new. He’s a fun guy, and I love having him in our program.”
“Watching Brion Sanders in the 2011 Turkey Day easily has to be my favorite Turkey day moment,” Lacy said.
“As far as the community, they are very supportive,” Lacy said, “one of the best atmospheres to be around.”
Mike Abegg’s high school carreer had many highlights, and he was amazing college player. From a coaching standpoint, Abegg is as good of a coach as he was a player.
“He knows the game. Just as all high school kids do their homework, Coach Abegg does the same. He will do anything to have us well prepared,” senior Derrick Federick said.
As far as preparing the team for the battle of either State or Turkey Day, Abegg said, “You have to be ready for anything. Anything can happen at any moment in time. You have to expect the unexpected and at all cost do whatever it takes to win.”
“Overall, we have a young team, and I think we are inexperienced in a lot of positions, but you can tell the boys have come together and found something to fight for. Whether the Varsity is playing for the bell or a ring, you can see how the boys have bonded, and overall that’s a big goal in this organization,” Abegg said.
Coach David Parker started playing sports at the age of 11. His main sport was basketball, but since seventh grade, he’s been interested in high school football. After suffering an injury in his later years, Parker began to get interested with coaching.
Parker’s coaching career started 1992 with McClure freshman football and women’s JV basketball.
“My first ever championship I won as a coach was with my freshman football team. We went undefeated winning the conference,” Parker said.
Parker’s first Varsity State title came with Hazelwood East in 2008 against Raytown South. “It was the greatest feelings I’ve ever experienced, and I can’t wait for the chance to say the same again as a part WGHS program,” Parker said.
Bill Liebroff has 13 years under his belt with coaching. His love for coaching was built from watching his father coach and seeing how much his father loved playing the game. Liebroff started coaching at Webster in 1999 and never looked back.
“The community is great. Their support makes the difference from winning and losses of games,” Liebroff said.
As far as preparing the team for Turkey Day, Liebroff does nothing special. He coaches and prepares the Statesman for every game of the season in the same manner.
Sophomore Jordan Shumate said, “Liebroff has a great personality. When you’re not doing your job, he lets you know, and this season he has done a great job letting you know what we need to improve on and when we are doing well.”
“Anytime something goes wrong I look to the person who wants to step up and who’s working the hardest, and they get their chance,” Liebroff said.
Defensive back coach Yarmon Kirksey played high school football at Hazelwood Central High School and went off to play college football at Lindenwood University.
Kirksey made the change from being a running back in high school to a cornerback in college and now coaches the defensive side of the ball.
“Yarmon does a great job with us. He puts us in the best positions to make plays for the team,” junior defensive back, Rishon Lopher said.
Kirksey told his team offense may win games, but defense wins championships, and this year is no different.
“Yarmon never lets up on us. His style whether it’s getting ready for Turkey Day or getting ready for a regular season game never changes,” senior Zeb Bates said. “He may be tough on the outside, but he’s really soft as cotton on the inside.”
Running-back coach Scott Stallcup attended Vandalia High School. He played as a linebacker for the defense and offensive line.
“This year will be my eighth experience with Turkey Day,” Stallcup said. “I love seeing the younger guys play, but if we are out of the play offs, I would rather it be a Varsity Turkey Day.”
Stallcup said just like every other day of the year, practices will stay the same. There is no real difference from the way Varsity practices, just a little more time to prepare.
Stallcup said, “The thing I am still waiting for our guys to do is to win the bell and win a State championship all in the same year.”
Stallcup’s main focus is to win games, and he tells his team the way to do that is to be fundamentally sound every snap of the ball.
Special Teams/Defensive Line Coach
“Coach (Mark) Gray is by far the funniest coach that we have on the team,” senior defensive lineman Marlon Hampton said
Mark Gray attended Hazelwood Central High School. Gray went on to attend what is now called Truman State College (North East Missouri State).
“Coach Gray is special. Everyone loves him, and when you need a laugh he’s the person you want to be around,” senior Reed Deticker said. “All he ever wants from the guys is for us to do our jobs.”
Gray said, “Man, we are a young team, but this young team has got a lot of fight in them.”