The Turnaround: A Message that goes beyond X’s and O’s

Lubbock WesternersLubbock High School football players listen to members of the Lubbock Police Department and Department of Public Safety.

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

Week 2 Going Quickly

Yesterday was a so-so day.  I talked about it.  We moved on. Stayed positive today.  That is all you can do!  Forget the past and keep rolling.  And, now when I look up and it’s almost Thursday and we have a scrimmage Friday.  We are rolling fast!

The kids came back today and did what they needed to do.  They were upbeat and had a good work day today.  Again today, we were thrown off with a lightning episode that kept us indoors.  On the fly, we re-organized and did an hour’s worth of meetings before heading into the indoor facility for an hour practice.  We made it a good work day despite the circumstances.  I’m pleased.

Tomorrow we dial it back a tad, in lieu of the scrimmage on Friday. But tomorrow needs to be intense, productive and meaningful!  Finish strong before we tee off with the Sweetwater Mustangs.

A Special Message

Lubbock Westerners

Lubbock head football Jason Strunk believes there’s more to football than X’s and O’s.

You know, we live in a scary world.  There is a lot going on in society today.  The social climate has been tense and turbulent.  Adding fuel to the fire are two controversial presidential candidates.  It feels like the world is living in a
pressure cooker right now.

In the past couple months, law enforcement has become the target of community unrest and tension.  I’m not here to weigh-in on or offer an opinion on particular cases.  The fact is, there have been civilians killed and police officers killed.  It has certainly caused a rift across the United States.

Lubbock Westerners

LPD and DPS talk with Lubbock HS football players.

I began to think about this over a month ago.  I told the coaching staff we need to get some police officers in here to deliver a message to our kids about today’s social climate, life or anything else they felt pertinent for our kids.  My coaches got on it right away and helped line up seven officers from the Department of Public Safety and Lubbock Police Department.

Seven officers came in today with diverse backgrounds.  Some have served in the military and some are just beginning their careers on the force.  This was the perfect combination of experience and perspective for our kids.

Highlights of the officers message today:

-There are some bad people in the world.  There are some bad cops.  There are bad employees, but not everyone is bad. Don’t judge everyone based on a few bad ones.

-You are owed nothing; you must work for everything you wish to obtain.

-The environment you grow up in is not an excuse to commit crime.

-There are choices to be made every day, good or bad.  Which side do you want to be on?

-Your generation looks for handouts.  Be the ones that change the direction of your generation.

-Rely on the brothers sitting to your right and left.  You are only as strong as your brothers.

-We are here to help you.  We don’t wake up wanting to arrest anyone.  It’s not a good day when we are out arresting people.

-We do not create the laws.  We are tools that are put into place to uphold the laws and we do so within in that framework.

-Addressing the social climate today and hashtag movements, an officer said its not about race, it’s about actions.

Lubbock HS

Jason Strunk, Lubbock head football coach, brought-in members of LPD and DPS to talk to his team on Wednesday.

Those are some of the highlights from today.  It was a strong message!  They touched upon many things and I believe it resonated with our kids.

I want our kids ready for the real world when they leave us.  There is so much more to what we do then the X’s and O’s. Today was necessary on many levels.  We are doing everything we can to educate our teams on life, not just football!

Thank you, law enforcement, for helping send a positive message to our young men.  It was much needed.  I have a ton of gratitude for the people who protect us on a daily basis.  I think the Westerners feel the same way!


-This blog allows me to talk about football and the great things my staff and program does for our kids.  It makes me proud.

-Teach more than the game to your team.  Teach them life and what is important.

-We need to know how to run a 4-2-5 defense.  Our kids also need to know how to act when they leave the friendly confines of the high school hallways.

That’s it. It was a great day!


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.