Howell Central's Eberhardt takes a new approach to football

Frank Cusumano introduces a coach who is gambling on his high school football team.

They were married four years ago and they are both coaches. Pete Eberhardt is the head football coach at Francis Howell Central while Emily coaches soccer and basketball at Timberland.

Their Friday nights are spent at the field. Emily with their three year old son Anton watching Pete roam the sideline.

Pete's team do things dramatically different than most high school football teams, like opening the game with an onside kick.

"We have a blast with it in practice," Pete said, "we try to make it as fun as possible."

The style came from a book titled, "Saturday Morning Wake-Up Call." It is an analysis on why it is better to go for it on fourth down instead of the traditional punt. The book also says to go for two point conversions instead of kicking extra points, and to almost always do the onside kick.

Emily, who has a business background, and teaches computer science, helps with the data.

"All I did was take every teams drives, every drive from every game they did. It basically said this is the outcome if they get certain amount of yardage on certain downs," Emily said, "then this is where they started in field position. From there we were able to look and say, 'it really doesn't matter where they start and it is more advantageous for us to go for it on fourth down."

Why do they do this, Eberhardt's answer is simple.

"Why not? It is fun, and that is the whole reason we are out here. I have coached one kid that is in the NFL and I have coached for 17 years. So, our end goal can't be to get kids to the NFL, our end goal has to be to make kids better people. So let's have fun doing it."

© 2017 KSDK-TV


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