The Turnaround – Sweetwater Prep is Done

Jason Strunk Lubbock Week 1
gamestrat high school football sideline instant replay

Well, that went by fast.

The short week for us went by fast, real fast. We did lots of installing. We repped a ton of things. We had a spaghetti dinner. We decaled then helmets. We did it all. It’s all done now. There is nothing left for us to do. It’s time to get this kicked-off.

The Night Before

Three days of practice is done. All that is left is the night before the game. All that is standing our way to kickoff is a night of sleep. That’s it. But the nerves are still real, even twenty years into this gig.

My first game as a coach was in the fall of 1996. I was on the staff at Nazareth High School in Pennsylvania. We opened up at Emmaus High School. I remember how nervous I was. I wasn’t even calling plays. I was just like a super GA for our head coach, Chris Gerhard. Nonetheless, the nerves were real.

Sitting here all these years later, and watching the movie Vision Quest, my nerves are just like they were back in 1996. I think that is a good thing. You never want the butterflies to go away. Butterflies mean the passion still runs deep. It’s a great, uneasy feeling.

As the night drags on the nerves and butterflies get worse. They won’t go away until about 7:06 p.m. tomorrow. It’s been this way for close to twenty years. I hope it doesn’t change anytime soon.


In our last staff meeting tonight to wrap up our Sweetwater prep, I touched on many things. One thing I wanted to drive home was the point of worrying about football. Sounds easy, right? Well, it’s not.

So many things come up in our daily work day that can take away from our prep work. School work, administrative duties, laundry. It’s never ending. But the message tonight was to forget all the little things and focus on football for the night.

Our kids are relying on us. Things always come up. But we need to put that stuff off for the next twenty-four hours and focus on Sweetwater. We have a darn good team coming in here to play us. We need to be focused up.

Clear your minds the night before. Do not let anything take you away from your mental focus. Your team needs you.


-Appreciate people. Why would you not?
-Astros pounded the Yankees today again. Excellent.
-Financial freedom brings clarity to the mind.
-Kicking coach Trent Deans is a re-gifter.
-Assistant Coach Devin Kline orders our food for our Sunday meetings. He is sublime.
-DC Nate Jephcott bought a full set of Garbage Pail Kids trading cards online today.
-Neal Tull. He is somewhere right now pacing the floors, drinking Pepto.
-Justin Wieller is now known in our office as Rusty Tubbs.
-Sweetwater Head Coach Shane Mobley is a nice man. We are going to wrestle at the
fifty yard line tomorrow.

That is about all I have. Tapped out tonight.


No More Fumbles

Play Football

nfl play football

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.