HJ-ED-DHJHerald Journal Columns
October 1, 2007

Coaching kids is simply a blast; most of the time

By Aaron Schultz

What do you think you are doing over there?

Are you going to figure out the difference between left and right?

Does everybody know where you are going on this play?

Those are just a few of the millions of questions I have asked my kids this year while coaching junior high football for the Lester Prairie/Holy Trinity Bulldogs.

Most of the time the answer either is “I don’t know,” or “I think so.”

Not too much else comes out of their mouths when I raise my voice and ask a question.

Coaching junior high football, this being my second year, is a blast.

The kids are great, they seem to be having a good time, and want to learn and get better.

Alright, while I really enjoy coaching kids in general, and this group of junior high boys is no different, they do drive me nuts more often than not.

Mind you, there are still two full weeks left to go, so there will definitely be more items to add to this list, but for now, here are just a few of the things these boys have done to make me lose even more of my hair.

First off, these kids have equipment issues on a daily basis.

Either they lose their helmet, or shoulder pads, or completely forget their helmets on game day.

That’s right, one game this year we had two young men, who will remain nameless, forget to bring their helmets on a road trip.

But that is just the tip of the iceberg for this group of boys.

Prior to a game last week, I had one young man come up to me in the locker room and ask if I had found his helmet?

I just stared back at him and said, “No.” No worries, about a minute later he came back to me and said he had found it.

Hmmm. It was probably sitting right in his locker – the one place he wouldn’t have looked.

Then, moving away from the equipment issues, there are the constant questions, when the answer could only be no.

Early on in the season, as we were heading down from the school for practice, I had a group of boys ask if we could skip practice so they could watch the junior high volleyball game.

Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate them wanting to support their classmates, but come on.

Skip practice to watch a volleyball match? I don’t think so.

They asked that one more than once.

Then, the kids have a constant barrage of questions concerning what we are going to be doing at practice. These questions occur every single day.

I have finally gotten to the point where I tell them that they will find out when we start doing it.

While all of these little annoying questions and acts get on my nerves from time-to-time, they can be expected with junior high boys.

Another little annoyance that occurs, which likewise can be expected with youngsters, is the paying attention problem.

Before I go on, I would like to say that the majority of my team is pretty good at paying attention, but just the majority.

With our numbers the way they are, and they are great, 38 kids in two grades, there are times when kids are standing on the sidelines waiting to come in.

I have really found out this year that if a kid isn’t playing, or about to go in, they have a hard time staying focused on the game.

It is almost like a juggling act. On one hand, trying to coach for the game, and on the other hand, keeping the kids on the sideline paying attention, and into the game.

Then, there are those kids who missed a few practices leading up to the game, and therefore won’t see much time in the game.

Those always seem to be the boys who are constantly asking to get into the game, and telling me where exactly they want to play.

Please, don’t take this all the wrong way. The group of kids out for junior high football are a great group, and are going to make up a very strong varsity team when their time comes.

Should I be doing this in 10 years, and write an identical column talking about junior high football, I don’t anticipate the column being much, if any, different.

That is just the way it is with this age group, and if I didn’t like it, I wouldn’t be doing it.

The kids are fun to be around, and all seem to enjoy the game, which makes it all the more fun.

10th anniversary of 1997 LP state football squad

This year, 2007, marks the 10th anniversary of the 1997 Lester Prairie Bulldogs’ football state tournament team.

Lester Prairie/Holy Trinity head coach Joe Scoblic would like to honor the team at the final home game of the season, Wednesday, Oct. 17.

If you were a player on that team, and would be available to be at the game Oct. 17 in Lester Prairie, contact Scoblic at either (320) 395-2521, or via e-mail at scoblic@lp.k12.mn.us.

Additional information will be in future editions of Herald Journal sports.