Icing on the Cakeby: John GallupEditor and Publisher
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Every year, when we survey head coaches of state championship teams, we learn something new about the coaches and teams that won state titles the previous season.
This year, for example, we found out that the vast majority of teams use a no-huddle, hurry up offense at least some of the time and 31% use it all of the time. That’s amazing when you consider that only a handful of teams were running no-huddle only five years ago when we ran a cover story that asked, “Should You Ditch Your Huddle?” It turns out the answer was yes.
While the on-the-field trends are always interesting to follow, it’s the wide-ranging comments from coaches that best tell the story of their championship seasons.
All coaches enjoy winning. But more and more high school coaches are de-emphasizing titles and instead focusing on the other rewards that playing and coaching football delivers. Winning, it appears, is no longer the only thing.
“Don’t make winning a championship the main thing. The main thing is that the process and the pursuit are done correctly. The end result will be disappointing if you make winning the main thing!”
Kevin Lynott, Middletown High School (MD)
In the course of a four or five-month season, there will be many opportunities to develop young athletes’ character and prepare them for success once their playing days are over.
This, for many coaches, is the essence of the profession.
“The rings and title are great. But it is about the relationships, fighting through adversity together, working hard for a common goal and being unselfish for something that is more important than us.”
Greg McClendon, Midland Christian School (TX)
Yes, the titles are important, as you can clearly see from the photos we’ve included of teams celebrating their championships. Memories that will last a lifetime are made every season. But important moments for coaches and players can happen every day – on the practice field, in the weight room, at home or in class.
“It was a very successful season in a lot of ways, culminated with a state trophy. But the real success was in the journey, not the destination.”
Mike Papoccia, Newman Central Catholic High School (IL)
So, as you approach the start of the 2014 season, we hope that, in addition to working hard to build a championship program, you’ll also take the time to be a strong mentor to your players. Use football as a means to build character and you’ll be giving your players benefits that will long outlast the trophy celebration.
“It was great winning a state championship to reward the kids for all of their hard work. Our main goal is to produce great young men with high character and discipline.
Winning a championship was just icing on the cake.”
Brandon Clark, Derby High School (KS)
Thanks to all coaches that participated in our state champions survey and good luck this year.
Editor & Publisher