The Turnaround: Monterey Wrap, Overcoming Advertisity

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

Lubbock HS captains head to midfield for coin toss before season opener. Photo courtesy of Abby Reed Photography

Lubbock HS has lost five of its six captains to injury during the 2014 season.
Photo courtesy of Abby Reed Photography

If you would have told me one month ago we would be 0-4, I would have bet you $1,000 we wouldn’t be anything close to winless after four times out.

If you would have told me one month ago we would be 0-4 and down eight starters, I probably would have bet you in the millions.

Never in a million years did I expect this kind of start to the season. Not many things have gone right. But the reality of all this is that we are 0-4 and we have six games left.

What we have in front of us is what we have been working for all year: a trip back to the playoffs. We can still do that. We can still get to where we want to be. It’s not how you start; it’s how you conquer adversity and end the journey you started.

I will wrap up the Monterey game with this: for one quarter you could see the time, effort and energy we put into this program for four years. You could see the the results of the hard work the seniors have put into this program. It was all there and on display for all of Lubbock to see. We jumped out to a 10-0 lead. Monterey battled back and took the lead, 13-10. We went into the second quarter in good shape, scoreboard-wise… We will leave it at that.

I’m proud of this senior class. They put in the time to be successful. The seniors we lost for the season deserved a better outcome.

NEVER SEEN THIS BEFORE
I told people this team has a chance to be the best LHS team in forty years. Still believe that. Things haven’t gone our way. There is no explanation for what we have encountered. None at all.

We have lost WR Jordan High, WR Alex Loredo, QB James Garcia, DE Tommy Najera, RB James Perez all to season ending injuries. All starters. All seniors. These are guys that contribute immensely to what we do. The last time they were all healthy was Shallowater, our last scrimmage. The carnage began on the first offensive possession of the season against Sweetwater. The team we broke camp with would never be in tact again. I never could have imagined.

Three torn ACL’s, a broken collar bone and back. What I witnessed against Monterey is something I will never forget. Heartbreaking for the we kids. We have six captains. By the end of the game we only had one left playing. That is hard for anyone to overcome.

Something that will haunt me for a long time: During the first quarter I said, “Who the hell is down now”? It’s a sickening feeling that can’t be described.

MOVING ON
So we lost guys. Important guys. The good news is we built this program up to where we have almost two hundred kids in it. That is a long way from the 65 we inherited when we got here. We have guys that will fill in and we expect them to make plays. These guys need to carry us to where we want to be. Play for the guys we lost. Make them proud!

Jacob Bayouth, Dae Dae Morgan, Blake Robbins, Devontae Greathouse. Get used to their names. Steven Duke, Alex Orsa, Tristan Warren and Josh Garcia. These guys will bring it. The OL is still the best we have had here. Our kickers can come through in the clutch. We have lots of pieces in place to get this thing going.

All go, no quit. Adversity is tough but we are tougher!

RANDOMNESS
– We will be down eight starters. We are bringing up JV and Freshmen players this week for the Estacado game. Great experience for these guys.
– I love this program, the kids in it and the coaching staff. We will find a way to get it done.
– Never back down. Punch adversity in the mouth.

Sorry about time away. Needed to gather my thoughts. Toughest week I have encountered in my professional career. Need to be resilient just like the kids are. Time to come together!

It isn’t an FIO week… It’s a let’s just go and conquer week. FIO on the fly!

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.