Lightner wants Everett to win consistently

Dave Lightner has worked on the staff of some area coaching legends in Bishop Carroll’s Craig Sponsky and Central’s Dave Baker and is looking forward to getting the chance to form his own staff.

Lightner is the new head football coach at Everett Area High School, taking over for the retiring Winston Redman.

“Coach Redman did a good job with the things he instilled in the guys,” Lightner said. “We’re going to try and build on that, and kids will have to get used to some changes in the staff and offensive changes. Our defense will be the same, and we’ll try to simplify things for the kids and change the culture to winning consistently.”

Lightner was the team’s defensive coordinator last season when Everett went 8-4 and made it to the District 5 Class 2A championship game.

“Dave was teaching physical education for us, and he stepped in last year as the defensive coordinator,” Everett athletic director Brian Koontz said. “He did a great job, and we didn’t miss a beat. The kids really responded well to him, and I think he’ll do an outstanding job for us.”

Lightner said beating Juniata Valley, which went on to win the District 6 Class 1A title, in the season opener last year was huge for the program.

“Going into the season, there were not a whole lot of expecations,” Lightner said. “We had gone 2-8 the previous year, but when we upset Juniata Valley, that was a momentum builder for our whole program. It changed the way the kids thought. Every week we improved a little more, and we went undefeated at home, and won a playoff game at home. We want to keep building on that.”

The Warriors will have to replace all-everything Macen Akers, who excelled as a quarterback, defensive back and kick returner.

“He’s a hard player to replace, but his younger brother (Malex) will be a sophomore,” Lightner said. “Hopefully, we can build him up. He has his own special gifts, and we want to make him better each week.”

Everett will return Brandon Mills, a 6-foot-4 inch receiver who was among the area’s leaders in receiving yards as a sophomore.

“He has god-given talent, size, speed and leaping ability,” Lightner said. “He’s very difficult to cover. We need to get him to mature and improve, and he can be a dynamic weapon for us.”