7 On Your Sideline: Charlie Bliss

March 11, 2012 9:07:16 PM PDT
Chicago area quarterbacks would do well to listen to Charlie Bliss.

Bliss is the offensive coordinator for 8A football powerhouse Maine South. Every winter for the last 19 years, he has held free clinics for area quarterbacks who want to work hard and get better at the toughest position on the field.

He started working with a couple of guys and it grew from there.

"We've got kids from as far as Crown Point, Ind., and up north all the way to Stevenson, and everybody in between. We always say we leave no quarterback behind.

Maine South quarterback Matt Alviti said Bliss is a great teacher of the game and more.

"He teaches you a lot about the game, but he also teaches you a lot about life that makes you a better man and a better person and I think that's the best thing that coach Bliss does for the kids" Alviti said.

Teaching quarterbacks is not his only job. For the past 32 years, he has worked has a Chicago firefighter. That's not something you'd see on the resume of let's say Mike Martz or Ron Turner.

Bliss said the firehouse and football have chemistry in common.

"If you don't have the chemistry or teamwork, it's not a five-yard penalty at the firehouse," Bliss said. "A lot of things can go wrong (without teamwork)."

Holding the clinic with so many local quarterbacks does have its disadvantages. Maine South head coach Dave Inserra saw that first hand when the Hawks were beaten by Stevenson in the playoffs last year.

"Every quarterback we saw in the last two years in the playoffs was a quarterback I had here," Bliss said. "When you're helping all these quarterbacks, it's going to bite us. So, it bit us last year. So one time isn't so bad."