A Foundational Philosophy

Powerful team values inspire a winning culture


Raina Straughter

Coach Malach Radigan embraces Junior Amjaed Safi during a team meeting. Players talked about why the team matters to them.

Walking into room three during the football meeting, students are greeted with laughter and a bubbly team environment. Coach Malach Radigan discusses the team’s recent loss to Troy (53-21) as an opportunity, and not an indicator of their future performance. The team has been constructing a strong community throughout the off-season, resulting in a shift in the team’s overall culture. This all can be attributed to the philosophy of Coach Radigan, whose strong core values create a strong culture surrounding the team.

Coach Radigan’s philosophy is built upon a distinct set of values that construct a tight-knit community, eager to win.

“Our three core values are servant leadership, relentless effort, and love. You know, we often say we can only control the controllables. And so knowing that we can instill that in our kids, they control being a servant leader, they control their effort, and they control how they love and treat their teammates,” Coach Radigan said.

These values have had an immense effect on the way the team is approaching this football season. The team’s great performance so far has resulted in a change in attitude going forward.

“I think it gives our kids a glimmer of hope. It allows them to believe that they can be great and that they can do something special,” Coach Radigan said.

The team’s performance far exceeds expectations for the team at this point in the season. This has changed the overall perception of the team, with the students being very engaged in the team’s games. Senior Aidan Hernandez, has noticed these changes going into recent games.

 “People are starting to buy in and believe in it[the team], not just giving up and we’re actually fighting and practicing hard,” Hernandez said.

The successes of Radigan’s philosophy cannot be understated. This does however pose an important question: Where did he get this philosophy?

“It’s been a philosophy shaped by 10-plus years of coaching, and then another 10-plus years of playing. And so I’m just learning, kind of like, what makes me tick. It’s a little reflection of who I am,” Radigan said.

Radigan’s values were not ingrained into the team’s structure overnight. It required hard work throughout the off-season that brought the team together. Senior Angelina Deidrick highlights the hard work during the months leading up to the season.

 “I think that our potential that we worked so hard for and everything is really kind of coming to the surface right now,” Deidrick said.

This football season is looking really promising, but most importantly a powerful culture surrounding the team has arisen. Coach Radigan’s leadership abilities have truly created something special. Something that has brought us spartans together. The past few years have been tough for the team, but Radigan has certainly molded this team into a force to be reckoned with.

Radigan describes the team best: 

“We are underdog mentality, chip on your shoulder scrappy, blue collar workers; these kids, they know that St. Louis or St. Charles doubts us, they know that no one expects us to win, and so for them to own that and really run with it has been one of the coolest things.”

Coach Radigan and the team discuss the recent loss to Troy(53-21). Radigan rallied the team in preperation for their next game. Radigan said “we spent our whole off-season from December 6’th until now, really trying to build these kids”. (Raina Straughter)