The Turnaround – Final Week of Camp, Thursday

by Jason Strunk
Lubbock High School Head Football Coach
Follow @WestTXCoach

Lubbock Head Coach Jason Strunk. Photo courtesy of AbbyReedPhotography.com

Lubbock Head Coach Jason Strunk.
Photo courtesy of AbbyReedPhotography.com

Camp has pretty much come and gone. Today is our last scrimmage and we can say syonara to the 2014 version of Westerner Two-A-Days! It was THEE best camp I was ever a part of as a coach. Tremendous work ethic, grit, determination and resiliency. This team has the edge needed to conquer this thirty-nine year skid of losing seasons. Let’s get rolling, fellas!

A look back on my favorite moments of camp:

Sand, water, rain and sprinklers: We had every player army crawl through sand. The OL/DL did one-on-one’s in the sand. We soaked them with water. Then we made them go through the sand again. Suddenly, rain began to fall from the sky. Our guys found themselves sandy and wet. Awful conditions. They pushed through. Then at the end of practice we conditioned them in the mud when the sprinklers were going. Mental toughness? Check!

Ice pops – We interrupted practice one day to give the guys a treat. We had two hundred ice pops for them right in the middle of practice. Nice treat on a hot day.

Coaches dance off: After practice one night I held a dance off for the coaches in the locker room. The players loved it. Tyler Trout, not to be confused with Sweet Cheeks Gensler, won the dance off. The players were howling!

The captains speech: QB James Garcia, one of our six captains, gave one of the best players speeches I have ever heard. Heartfelt. Emotional. Sincere. The struggles these guys go through in their daily lives have galvanized this team. We are a family.

Freezing their feet and hands: Back to the mental toughness challenges. An obstacle course designed with tractor tires, tackling dummies, shields and garbage cans full of ice water could not deter these guys. They hammered it out. Kickers feet and snappers hands in ice water? Not a problem. Challenge was met and accepted on this August night. It was awesome!

Feeding the coaches: I take extra pride in taking care of my staff. It was fun being able to feed them a few times after practice. That quiet time alone builds staff chemistry. Little moments like that go a long way in an extremely long football season.

The Strunk impersonation: Devin Hughes knocked it out of the park one day before practice. He was spot on!

Music everyday: Music was blaring for every practice. It was a nice way to add some background noise to the monotony of camp. The players fed off of it.

Those moments stood out to me for various reasons. I really liked what I saw during this camp. We have many more great moments to come! Stay tuned.

THE OL
I have to say the OL has been a pleasant surprise to me. You never know what you are going to get when you replace guys. But I need to tell you, I like what we have up front. Anchored by returning starters Nick Hoeve, Felipe Deleon and right tackle Jesse Molinar, this group has made our team solid in the trenches. Add in Nick Riojas Pooh Bear Ambriz, just to name a few, and you can see why this OL will be one best LHS has seen in recent memory. Time to get nasty, bug guys!

RANDOMNESS
– Never take life for granted. Enjoy your time, enjoy family!
– I had the police arrive at my Dad’s house today. I couldn’t shut the house alarm off. By the time I figured it out, it was too late.
Thoroughly embarrassing. FIO’ing is definitely needed by me!
– Cayenne Pepper is a great way to spice up your taste buds over lunch.
– The Yankees won. This is reason to celebrate Festivus six months early. Wonder what the occasion was? Losing record at home? Yes, that awful.
– I slammed my car door on my leg today. It was just awesome

That’s it.. Check back after our scrimmage. Plenty of details!

FIO………

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.