The Turnaround: The Response

The Turnaround

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

A few days ago I wrote a blog about my football team, following a tough loss to Estacado, 24-17.  The purpose of that particular entry was to brag about my kids and how hard they played and how they never quit.  I also sprinkled in some things that I am tired of — people telling my kids they “suck” and the notion that we cannot play football and, basically we’re everyone’s doormat.

To me, I was just writing my thoughts down and venting a little bit.  I had no idea that blog entry would morph into something the national media picked up upon.

Related: The Turnaround archives

Five years ago Jeff Fisher asked me if I would be willing to write a weekly blog about my efforts to turn around the Lubbock High football program for High School Football America.  He aptly named this blog, The Turnaround.  When I began writing five years ago I wasn’t sure where I was taking this.  As I began to write, and as the years followed, I realized what my purpose of this blog was: to the tell the story of LHS football and give my kids a voice.

For four decades, the voice of the kids at LHS fell on deaf ears.  We were the forgotten football team.  We were the afterthought.  We were just supposed to show-up, get our rear ends kicked and like it.  Well, that doesn’t sit well with me.  I decided to use this blog to talk about the great things my football team is
accomplishing on-and-off the field.  Sometimes, I don’t even talk about football. This blog isn’t about football.  It’s about the KIDS who work hard, never quit and show tremendous resolve.  This blog is about how to live and attack life.

It all came full circle on Wednesday.

It’s started with an outpouring of support for the LHS football program from many angles.  Local community members, administration and friends began to text, tweet and email me.  It kept rolling in from Texas football coaches reaching out to me.  Then coaches across the United States started sending me messages, most of whom are
complete strangers.

Then, suddenly, the creator of this blog, Jeff Fisher, alerted me to the fact that USA TODAY High School Sports picked-up the blog and posted it.  Thus began the avalanche of messages and well-wishes.

And then there is this: around 2:30 P.M. I was informed that the Ellen Degeneres Show was calling the school looking to speak with me.  As that was happening I received an email from the show asking if I could call them.  Suddenly, I found myself on a 25-minute Skype call with one of Ellen’s producers.  Where that all goes, I have no idea, but it was wild.

It was a crazy, chaotic day.  And, I mean that in a good way.  Wednesday, after five years of blogging, my kids at LHS finally had their voice heard through my writing.  It was a good feeling to have.

This blog isn’t about me; it’s about the kids, the coaches and things we deal with.  All I want, all any coach wants, is their team to be treated with respect.  We play the game the right way.  We work hard.  We are trying to overcome forty-plus years of struggle.  We will continue to attack that challenge on a daily basis. We will never give in.

Lubbock is a great place.  Myself and my family enjoy living here.  We are surrounded by great people.  Our Principal, Doug Young, is the best I have ever worked for.  We have an outstanding Superintendent, Dr. Berhl Robertson, who makes sure every resource available to us is provided.  And, newly named Executive Athletic Director, Mike Meeks, is one of the best supporters I have here.  We are all working together to get things heading in the right direction!

Thank you to all the coaches and people who have reached out to me. I had no idea this blog would also help you in some way.  It is very gratifying to hear how my words have helped others.

And as always… 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.