The Turnaround – Football & Wrestling

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

Lubbock High School football helmetAnother busy week for the Westerners football staff is in the books. One thing that we know about our kids is that they will not back down, they will not quit. The work ethic here is above anywhere else I have been. They answer the bell every day.

A character trait with me is I am honest (sometimes too honest). I don’t kid myself or those around me. I have been at this twenty years. I know hard work when I see it. I know good players when I see them. We are close. If we weren’t, I wouldn’t say it. We have been snake bit the last two years, since qualifying for the state playoffs in 2012. Why did that happen? No idea. But what I do know is it has made us better coaches.

2015 is coming. We will be ready. Mark my words.

Lubbock Westerners wrestling

Head coach Jason Strunk, who grew-up in one of the strongest high school wrestling areas of the country, likes to use the sport to inspire his football players. Strunky referees the matches.

If you read The Turnaround regularly, you know where I am from. In Pennsylvania, high school wrestling is parallel to Texas High School football. I cannot stress that enough. So anytime I can incorporate wrestling into our off-season program, we are going to do it.

Every Wednesday we roll out the mat, the brand new LHS wrestling mat. The kids love it. I pick three bouts I want to see and one showcase showdown. The kids went nuts last Wednesday with this. If you want to find out who will fight, compete and scrap for a victory, put them at center mat and blow the whistle. Wow, is all I can say! I wanted to find out what some kids were made of. I found out in a hurry. It was AWESOME!

Lubbock High School football wrestling

Midweek at Lubbock’s indoor facility is Wrestling Wednesday led by head coach Jason Strunk, who looks on as the referee.

This guy amazes me every week. He has been coaching for thirty-five years, at least. Along the way he has coached at TTU, Rice etc. Now, I have had him for four years. What a great four years it has been. Never seen a guy go the extra mile for kids the way he does.

Who am I talking about? None other than David Moody. What he did this week to help one of our athletes is exemplary! I cannot believe the hurdles and obstacles he tackled just to help one of our own get a second chance. Moody is what coaching is all about. Everyone can learn from David Moody. What a tremendous resource to have on my staff!

So, a big thank you to you, Moods!!

Run what your personnel and roster allows you to run. Don’t run what you can’t run. You can be Mr. Wizard and draw up stuff all day long. But if you can’t run it, what’s the point? Build relationships and work on that as hard as you pound the dry erase marker into the whiteboard.

Some coaches, all over the USA, need to FIO on this principle.

-LHS qualified three for the state wrestling tournament. Daxx Media won the regional crown and was named OW. Awesome!
-If LHS sells out our side of the gym on Tuesday for our basketball game with Lub. Cooper, I am dying my hair blonde. Let’s do it!
Tyler Lloyd, former QB at Frenship and current coach on my staff is a jerk. I call him a jerk with much love. He is the guy responsible for my workout plan and he enjoys burying me. Every time I lift, I curse him. But it’s all good. Lloyd is awesome! Coaches need to take health seriously. I do and I am thankful for Lloyd and what he has brought to our staff.
-Assistant coach Neal Tull wore spandex pants to our clinic presentation last week.
-DC Nate Jephcott listens to the Wiggles before every game. Solid choice of kids music before we take the field.
-Jeff Fisher is the man. Candlelight dinner on V-Day, overlooking the Pacific? Keep rubbing it in, Fish!

That’s it. FIO.

Editor’s Note: Jason Strunk attended Northampton High School in eastern Pennsylvania, which has had one of the top wrestling programs for decades.  The Konkrete Kids own two national championships, seven state championships with 21 individual state champs.


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.