CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Upon entering the practice field at Veterans Memorial High School, you will hear him yelling. Not yelling in a way that conveys anger, but rather yelling in a way that conveys excitement, intensity, love.
As soon as you enter a strength and conditioning workout on a sun-drenched morning at Veterans Memorial High School, you will hear new head football coach and athletic coordinator Ben Bitner.
"I like the energy he is bringing," said senior Cameron De La Pena. "We are just excited for the upcoming season."
Bitner takes over the program after the departure of Cody Simper in the spring.
"I'm lucky to get this job," said Bitner. "This is a job that a lot of people across the state wanted."
He isn't wrong. Veterans Memorial has turned into one of the top teams in Class 5A since the program began in 2017.
Lucky or deserving, Bitner, an assistant coach on Simper's staff, takes over a program with high aspirations after reaching the Class 5A state semifinals in 2020.
"The standard is set," Bitner said. "We're not going to shy away from it, we are going to embrace it."
Bitner is taking on his first strength and conditioning camp as the coach of the program. He is all action and his presence is both felt and most definitely heard.
"If I don't have energy I'm not very good," said Bitner. "If I'm not going hard then I cannot play."
Players are noticing and following his example.
"He brings the energy and we are so hyped about it," senior Romeo Lara said.
Do not expect silence when entering an Eagle football practice or workout, not while Bitner is the head coach.
He is set to continue a winning legacy for the Eagles program with his voice, his work ethic and his actions.