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      2014 KHQA Barnstorm Tour: WEST CENTRAL COUGARS

      Alex Ebbing puts his considerable pigskin pedigree to good use in his first head coaching gig at West Central


      First as player, then as an assistant coach, he has been on the ground floor of the rebuilds of two of the now most vibrant programs in Western Illinois.

      That perspective certainly lends itself well to Alex Ebbing as he attempts to repeat history with his own Football reclamation project; having to do so, in some part, at the potential expense of some of the very people who were his mentors.

      At Winchester West Central, life truly has come full circle now for the former standout Brown County Linebacker.

      Alex Ebbing: "When I was in high school, we weren't real successful. 1-8 in Tom's first year there as head coach. And then watched him build a program. Then coming out of college, being able to be mentored by Bill Reed (at Camp Point Central) as a Principal and also Coach. And then being under Brad Dixon. And then following Casey Rhea as an Offensive Coordinator. Really learned a lot. Really fortunate to learn from those guys how to set up a program."

      Tyler Strohecker: "When we first met Ebbing, we kind of didn't know what he was going to be like coming from Camp Point, you know. But everybody has turned out to like him. He gets everybody going, gets everybody pumped up for practice, ready to go, as you can see behind me."

      Alex Ebbing: "Coach Abell has an unreal basketball program. And just the kind of kid and athlete that is down here, we feel like we can down here and be successful as a Football program."

      The WIVC South is getting an infusion of Northern Exposure with the hire of Alex Ebbing, who is looking to graft the elements that he learned at a pair of cross-conference powerhouses to a West Central program that has never lacked for talent. No shocker, that means the Wing-T is back in vogue in Winchester; coincidentally enough, in a season when the Cougars have the bodies up front to execute it.

      Tyler Strohecker" "The Linemen. Easily. The linemen have put in the work all year, been ready to go."

      Jeff King: "I think the Wing-T attack is coming along great. Our line is pushing off hard. Our backs are filling the holes harder. I think everything is going to work out fine."

      Alex Ebbing: "Jeff King, obviously, leads the way up front. And we have a really nice junior class with some athletes there in Kobie Hoover, Luk Weder, Tyler Strohecker, Lance Barnett. And it just good group of kids that mesh well with each other and really fit well into our Offensive and Defensive Philosophy."

      Jeff King: "Yeah, I love it. (ebbing's) been working hard with us, getting into people a lot more. Using our hands a lot more. I like it a lot."

      Alex Ebbing: "We're changing the culture down here. We are building it to what Brown County and Camp Point are, obviously programs that we are modeling our philosophies after. It's just a nice small school program with an unbelievable weight room facility. That's something we are really trying to preach to our kids and get that going. And our kids are taking a lot of pride in that. Our kids want to change the program and change the culture and they want to be a great football program."

      Jeff King: "I think we are going to be really competitive this year. I think everybody's going to have a run for their money when they face us."