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OPINION - The team C E O

by Chris Conley

EVERYTHING EVERGREENS (FOX SPORTS WAUSAU-WSAU) Last Tuesday was parents night for the Everest football team. It's the unofficial start of the football season. Practice starts in one week.

I watched parents and their sons shuffle from one table to the next, dropping off their physical forms, picking up their team handbooks and calendars, signing up for pictures, uniform sizes are finalized, coaches chat informally with players. All of this happens before the actual parent-meeting takes place, where expectations are discussed and the first seeds of this year's team are sowed.

The head coach is really the C E O of the football team. Even with a veteran coaching staff, a supportive family, a few hard-working parent volunteers and an active booster club, the coach has tremendous administrative responsibilities. The sweet spot in being the JV coach or the defensive coordinator. Most of their time will be spent on traditional coaching. The head coach needs a secretary that he doesn't have. His coaching time competes with what amounts to office work.

One kid's shoulder pads don't fit... another's medical clearance is missing... that beefy sophomore who might have been this year's back-up fullback decided not to come out for football this year... they're waiting to see if a transfer student is eligible... one player has the wrong faceguard on his helmet, while another needs a 2x jersey instead of an XL... there are academic questions and the kid who twisted his ankle in a pick-up basketball game... there's a mother who's planning a family vacation that overlaps with practice; there's a father who's already talking about how much playing time his son might get. A high school head coach will deal with almost all of these situations before the season's first game.

Remember all this on 4th & 1 when the team doesn't make it, and you're ready to yell what an incompetent bum the coach is. There's no rational reason for being a high school head football coach except love of the game.

Chris Conley