Steve McCarthy talks like a football coach.

“It doesn’t matter how big you are,” Coach McCarthy said as he watched his team drill on Wednesday afternoon. “It’s what’s in your heart, how much you want it.”

But he doesn’t restrict his coaching philosophy to the gridiron. He calls it the philosophy of “we.”

“It’s more than just football, it’s about life,” he said. “Coaching football is awesome, the wins are awesome. My biggest thing is when the kid is out of school 10 or 15 years, they come up and see me. I see them as good people, good fathers, providers. That’s what’s important to me.”

Teaching the fine art of the punt. — Steve Myrick

For the first time in 28 years, when the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School varsity football team opens its season, someone other than Donald Herman will not be standing on the sidelines calling the shots.

Mr. McCarthy was selected as the new head coach following Coach Herman’s retirement last year.

But the Herman presence will be evident.

“I come from his coaching tree,” Coach McCarthy said.

He is not about to mess with success.

Coach McCarthy servied on Mr. Herman’s coaching staff for 11 years. During that run, the team won three state championships. Not much will change in the way the Vineyarders play football.

Mr. McCarthy spent the two previous seasons as an assistant coach at St. Margaret’s Episcopal School in San Juan Capistrano, Calif., where he helped lead the team to a league championship and the state final game.

But the lure of home was pretty strong, and it turns out his timing was good.

“I was kind of at that point, I was just going to come home anyway,” he said. “This job opened up. Everyone told me I should apply.”

The Vineyarders open the season Friday evening at Carver High School

Coach McCarthy is looking to three players in particular to make plays and provide leadership this season.

Lucas DeBettencourt is pretty easy to spot on the practice field. At 6 feet 5 inches, 295 pounds, the senior lineman is already drawing interest from college coaches.

Senior James Sashin, a 6-foot 6-inch 245-pound lineman, is coming off a spectacular season for the high school baseball team, and promises to be tough for opponents on the turf this year.

New coach and his team. — Steve Myrick

Junior Zach Moreis will be taking the snaps at quarterback after a standout season last year while splitting time between the quarterback and running back positions.

Coach McCarthy said a recent scrimmage showed him his young players are just about ready to compete in the tough Eastern Athletic Conference, and he is confident they will be ready by the 6 p.m. kickoff on Friday night under the lights.

“They’re a little tentative on what to do,” he said. “They’re thinking a little too much.”

He is happy with his team’s size, and their character, and he is optimistic about the coming season.

“We have the opportunity to do something really successful,” he said. “I can see that in them.”

There are plenty of new assistant coaches helping the new head coach. Most of them played when he was an assistant coach, and they are among the most successful players in school history.

In addition to success on the football field, there is something else most of them have in common.

It is no coincidence that of the six assistant coaches, four are Island police officers, one is an officer in the sheriff’s department, and one is a child psychologist.

“If any of these kids get out of line, word is going to get back here pretty quick,” the coach said.

The Vineyarders finished the 2015 season with a 7-4 record, including a win over rival Nantucket in the season ending game.