The Turnaround – Week 4, Monterey

by Jason Strunk
Lubbock High School Head Coach
Follow @WestTXCoach

Lubbock HS head coach Jason Strunk talks with him team.  Photos courtesy of Abby Reed Photography.

Lubbock HS head coach Jason Strunk talks with him team.
Photos courtesy of Abby Reed Photography.

Today was our first run through of the game plan for Monterey. It was wet today with more rain likely on the way. Right now, I am banking on rain this Friday. So why not enjoy some rain during practice? Hope the rain holds off so we have a big crowd on Friday. But there isn’t much I can do about it. Just prepare and be ready for anything.

This is a great game, great rivalry. I really enjoy this game. A lot of alumni come out during this week. It makes it fun for the kids, which this game is all about. It’s for the kids.

I’m all about rivalries and tradition. I am from a place where we have an annual Thanksgiving Day game. Turkey Day football is a part of our lives. You grow up going to the game every year, always envisioning yourself playing in it one day. The time comes and goes so fast you don’t really have time to enjoy it as a kid. This is why I enjoy it as a coach. Rivalries are fun, as long as people don’t get crazy about it. At the end of the day people need to realize this game is about the kids, not the people sitting in the stands. Get crazy in a good way and have fun. Just need people to respect both sides.

Looking forward to great practice week. The kids have a lot of energy. They played well on Friday night. Came up short but this isn’t stopping our kids. They want win one. They are going to battle for it.

THE RIVALRY
Like I said, this is a fun game. The winner of the game Friday will go home with the Silver Spurs. There are lots of student activities this week and the crowd will be a big one. Two years ago we had standing room only for this game. This is definitely a game both sides do not need any extra motivation for.

I really enjoy working with Wayne Hutchinson, the new Monterey head coach. We have four schools here in Lubbock Independent School District so we work closely together. Hutch is a great guy, a tremendous asset to the kids at Monterey and LISD. He does things the right way. Bob Stanley, one of his assistants, is a good friend of mine too. Bob and I will exchange texts before games wishing each other the best. This is what makes the rivalry so much more fun. I am not into this cold blooded crap you see on TV with teams and staffs hating each other. It isn’t my thing.

It’s a fun rivalry. I am very pleased to be a part of it!

SPEAKING OF RIVALRIES
My good friend, Jeff Fisher, who owns the site I write this blog for, asked me this question last week: If I had one wish left in life, would I choose to be a head coach or play in one more Thanksgiving Day game? I have an answer.

Playing on T-Day is special! If you aren’t in an area of the U.S. that has it, you are really missing out! So many traditions come with it. You are born into it. It’s all you dream of as a little kid. You cannot wait for your time to take the field in front of 10,000 people. Everyone is back from college. People are tailgating early in the morning. Kickoff is 10:00 a.m. It is the most unique experience you will ever have. The game I played in, Northampton vs. Catasauqua (Catty), is approaching it’s 100th year. Nothing can ever top that. Like I said, you need to be born into it to understand.

That is why if I had one wish left in life, I would choose to be a head coach. Seriously, nothing can ever top the feeling of being a head coach, including Thanksgiving day! I know it because I have lived it!

RANDOMNESS
– Dealt with another cowardly act today. It’s becoming common in the society we live in today. It’s a shame. But you need to realize you are better than they are. Bottom line. It’s a fact. Grow up. Focus on your life. There is a reason you aren’t with our program anymore. It became really evident today.
– Life is too short.
– Yankees are terrible.
– College football is fun.
– NFL solution: Get rid of it. Make college football the focus on Sunday’s. High school football Friday and Saturday. Canadian Football League on Thursday’s. All settled. Please NFL, get off my Twitter feed.
– The world is full of people; people work. Some people play sports for a living. But at the end of the day, people are people. No matter the job, people make mistakes. So, enough already.
– Assistant Coach Brandt Martin paints his toe nails on game day.
– Don-yellllll moves here soon. Excited about that.

The end. Back to football work. Another fifteen minutes of writing. Feel great now! On with my day!

Hey… Yeah, you. I FIO’ed. Now you need to do the same. See ya!

About the Author

Jeff Fisher
Jeff is an award-winning journalist and expert in the field of high school sports, underscored with his appearance on CNBC in 2010 to talk about the big business of high school football in America. Jeff turned to his passion for high school football into an entrepreneurial venture called High School Football America, a digital media company focused on producing original high school sports content for radio, television and the internet. Jeff is co-founder and editor-in-chief of High School Football America, which is a media partner with USA TODAY High School Sports.