General thoughts upon finishing phase one of the project;
After traveling almost every day for the last 2 and a half weeks I’m really looking forward to ‘settling down’ in La Marque for a whole week. I like to drive around and see new things, but it will be nice to stay in the same place for more than two nights in a row.
It was real interesting comparing and contrasting the 11 programs for similarities and differences and comparing it all to my experience in Nevada. One thing people who don’t follow football closely don’t understand is that football is about an entire program, not just a bunch of guys wearing gear. (I know my former principal never really understood this.)
1) All the programs run well organized practices.
2) Most have very stable and loyal assistant coaching staffs and support staff, (trainers, student-trainers, filmers)
3) All put a lot of focus on the weightroom.
4) Most had pretty good numbers top to bottom, and kids who looked very coachable.
1) Very wide variety of coaching philosophies, on offense, defense and in the way the coaches interact with the kids.
2) Talent level of the kids, some of the programs were much more athletically gifted than others and it didn’t really correlate with the size of the school.
3) Both my 3A schools have amazing athletes, speed and size, while several of the 4-5A’s didn’t.
4) The big separation in big/small schools seems to be between the 2A and 3A. The difference is basically in the number of coaches. 3A and up all have between 10 and 20 coaches working with the varsity, 2A and smaller are in single digits. This results in less platooning and the individual assistants having to be responsible for more. Great coaching in the small schools, but they have to be more creative as the player/coach ratio is much bigger than in the big schools.
5)Facilities- While all the schools have excellent facilities compared to where I’m from, some were much more modest than others.
1) Athletic weakness can be overcome by hard work (weightroom, off-season), a quality and deep coaching staff and numbers. In my mind this is what makes high school football the greatest sport in the world. (# of players x man-hours x smart coaching=wins) In football you truly get what you deserve. If enough people want success enough and are willing to work hard enough to get it, it will happen.
2) There are a lot of ways to get things done in football, but a coach must have a coherent and overarching program philosophy.
3) Facilities: As long as a team has a good weightroom and enough practice fields the other stuff is nice, but teams can get by without them.
On another subject, I just realized football starts in Nevada tomorrow. For the Nevadans reading this, good luck to both Wooster and Hug this season. I’ll be checking the scores on the RGJ. I will be heading to Houston tomorrow and will spend zero week with La Marque as they prepare for the Galveston-Ball game.