Mike Kirschner’s departure to Warren Central leaves big shoes for Vince Lidy to fill.
Kirschner, who took the head coaching job for the Warriors, leaves behind a talented program where his impact was highly felt. During Kirschner’s first year in 2018, the team’s record flipped to from 4-7 to 7-4. The Marauders kept their momentum going in 2019, winning 11 games and advancing to semi-state. The 2020 season was even better, finishing 12-1 and beating top 5A power New Palestine.
Will Mount Vernon’s success continue under Lidy? The good news for Marauders fans is that Kirschner leaves behind a well-qualified man to lead in 2021. Lidy worked alongside Kirschner as the defensive coordinator since 2018, and current players on the roster are optimistic about what he brings to the table.
“He comes in every day to get better and certainly gives us the energy that we need to work hard. He’s the electricity for us. whether we’re up 30 or down 30 he’s still going to coach hard and get the best out of his players to make us the best we can be,” rising senior Ashden Gentry says. “He literally coaches every single player.”
The Marauders have the potential to be a potent offense. Gentry, as well as quarterback Gehrig Slunaker, were 2020 IFCA Junior All-State Selections who will make a big impact in this fall. Slunaker was 144-of-286 for 1,889 yards and 22 touchdowns last season through the air.
“I am looking forward to Coach Lidy’s energy,” Slunaker said. “He brings an excitement and enthusiasm to him that we have never had here. He gets me jacked for just a summer workout. “He’s going to allow me to be myself and relax on the field. He’s going to get on me when I mess up, but he’s going to push me to get better every day.”
Gentry agrees, citing Lidy’s high energy as something he is looking forward to.
“You should see the pictures we have of him jumping and screaming up and down the sidelines,” Gentry says. “I can’t wait for that again.”
Prior to his arrival at Mount Vernon, Lidy coached at Hamilton Southeastern for 18 seasons. The Marauders will kick off the season at home in a matchup with 6A Noblesville.
“I think we all believe in our skill sets and trust each other and believe we can get as far in the postseason that Mount Vernon has ever been,” Gentry says. “The momentum we have right now is something coach Lidy will carry on because he’s already been here and he gets the vision.”
“He is a player’s coach,” Slunaker added. “I think everyone is loving him as our head coach right now. He does everything for the players and for the better of the team. He is allowing us to have fun playing the game we love. The standard is the standard and the culture has not changed. We expect to be in a spot again this year with an opportunity to win. We have been beat the last two years by the eventual state champion, so we just need to get over that hump. I believe Coach Lidy is what we need to help us get over the hump.”