Monthly Archives: May 2011

The Conquest of Food

It is Memorial Day Eve, around 10 PM.  I cut up a watermelon earlier and just had a bowl.  It was good.  So good, in fact, that I was hell bent on eating the whole melon tonight.  But, the dogs saved me by needing to go out.  While I was outside I reminded myself, “Man, you are almost 47!  You can’t eat a whole watermelon at 10 PM, you idiot!”  Of course, I didn’t eat the rest of the watermelon.  But, let me tell you, there was a time…

I know this will surprise no one who has ever seen me, but I used to be able to throw down some food.  Biblical proportions.  Some of my buddies and me were know to make buffet line proprietors cringe at the sight of us.  If there was an All-You-Can-Eat, we Ate-All-We-Could and then some.  I know some can relate to the late night mega-bag of Tostitos Nachos Cheese Rounds and a 2 liter of pop or a frozen pizza sandwich (two frozen pizzas cooked and stacked) on the way home from the bars.  But tonight,  three eating feats from my youth seeped from the memory banks after I made the decision NOT to eat an entire watermelon.

1. Watermelon Eating Champion

I was lucky enough to have three great men as grandpa figures in my life, Thomas Hays, Clarence Bosley and Boz’s best friend,  “Uncle” Charlie Lewis.  At family gatherings around dusk, Grandpa Bosley and Uncle Charlie would break out the monster watermelon for us tribe of kids for a watermelon eating contest.  Of course, we kids would gather around the two, while they held butcher knives in one hand and a beer in the other as they told story upon story.  Finally, they would cut the watermelon in slices, then cut each slice in half.  The kids would all line up for a piece, then the eating would begin.  I loved those two old guys to no end and would have run through a brick wall to please them.  Eating watermelon as fast and as furious as I could was easy.   More often than not, I won these contests on both speed and sheer amount of watermelon put away.  My trick was to eat the whole thing, seeds and all, right down to the rind.  No time wasted spitting out seeds. Clean as a whistle.  It was the perfect plan.  I can still see the smiles on Grandpa and Charlie’s faces watching us kids eating watermelon like fiends.

2.  Lettuce Pray

We used to all pitch in after dinner and do the dishes.  Put stuff away, scrape, rinse and load the dishwasher.  Normal stuff.  One night, when I was in high school, I had a clean-up challenge from my older sister.  We had lettuce salad for dinner A LOT back then.  This wasn’t modern day mixed greens in a bag salad, either.  This was old school chopped head of lettuce, roughage lettuce, not health food type of lettuce.  Lettuce, of which there was only one kind sold in the early 1980’s  at the grocery store lettuce.  As I said, we had it A LOT, so there was not very much eaten at this particular meal.  Sister and I are doing the dishes.  She picks up the almost completely full lettuce bowl and  starts to put it away.  She gets that evil older sister look on her face, then challenges me to eat the whole bowl at once.  Meaning, I have to stick the whole bowl of chopped lettuce in my mouth.  Long story short, despite breaking several laws of physics, the feat was accomplished with just a slight ass chewing from parents.  Well worth it.

3. 23 Tacos

That number pretty much says it right there, 23.  My oldest brother likes to add a few details when he recounts the events, these were old fashioned fry your own tortilla shells in hot oil tacos and Mom had to stand there and cook tacos shell after taco shell.  I might also add for the peanut gallery I was not the only one at the dinner table, but Dad and four siblings also ate that fateful Saturday night, so Mom did a heck of a lot of cooking that night above and beyond the 23 I ate.  Looking back, I don’t remember even feeling bad.  In fact, I probably went out that night with my buddies not long after cleaning up dinner.

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Hell Week: Friday, Part 2

Friday.  The goal of Hell Week Friday was to remind the athletes they are part of something bigger than themselves, part of something a century old and something important to our community.  Part I of this Hell Week Friday post covered the fan and community part of the Tiger Tradition and how we fit into the fabric of life in Clay County .  This Part 2 post covers the historical part of the Tiger Tradition and its 100+ seasons of high school football.

I didn’t know a whole lot about the history of Tiger Football when I started coaching.  I had been a CCCHS fan and supporter since the Mrs. Hays started teaching in Clay Center in 1992.  I had the pleasure of being roommates with Clay Center native, Monte Cales and being  friends with his brother, Moby, while in college.  They would tell stories about playing football back home, where the stands would be packed every game and the community loved their team, win or lose.  I really could not relate.  Until college, I didn’t know Clay Center from Yates Center from Smith Center.  I was a Kansas City kid and Clay Center might as well have been a third world country for all I knew.  Community spirit, what the heck was that?  We were lucky to have parents, family and the band at our home games and we were pretty good. The stories from the Cales brothers struck something in me which, years later when we moved here, I found absolutely true.  It is a great town which supports it kids like no other.

A highlight of my time in the Tiger program was the day Coach Lane trusted me with a copy of the Blackie Book, Coach Blackie Lane’s detailed history of Tiger Football.  I devoured this book.  The history, even in a simple schedule with results from the early 1900’s, was absolutely riveting.  It was so cool to see yearbook team pictures through the years filled with grandfathers and fathers, undefeated teams and winless teams.  They are all there, mostly in black and white.  After reading the Blackie Book, I shifted gears in my own coaching commitment.  I knew there was something bigger we were all a part of.  I knew it was an honor to be part of the tradition.  I knew I needed to up my game to properly pay homage to the past as we moved to the future.  One thing we implemented to pay homage to those who came before us was the “Touch the Sign” tribute.  All players and coaches touch the Otto Unruh Stadium sign before taking the field on game night.  Below are some of my favorite highlights from the Blackie Book I used for the Hell Week Friday historical portion of the workout.  Enjoy and love some Tiger Football.

Feel free to enter your own piece of Tiger Football history in a comment section below.

Friday

Winning is not a sometime thing, it’s an all the time thing.  You don’t win once in a while; you don’t do the right thing once in a while; you do things right all the time.  Winning is a habit.”         -Vince Lombardi

6:30 -6:40  Stretch Runs
6:40-7:30  Tiger Tradition

Tradition – Otto Unruh Stadium Sign
A.  100 years of Clay Center football
1.  836 games, 453-337-46 record, a .542 winning %
2. 63% of all teams had a winning record
3.  10 undefeated seasons

B.  Highlights and Dynasties
1. V.R. Vegades Era 1920-1926; 42-10-2, a .778 winning %, 1920 – 7-1 record

  • 1921 – 8-1 undefeated regular season. Lost to Topeka in playoffs.
  • 1922 – 7-1 Did not get scored on all season until last game, a 7-6 loss to Manhattan.  Beat Concordia 101-0.
  • 1923 – 6-1, No TD’s given up the entire season. Lost final game to Manhattan 6-3 but only gave up 2 FG’s.
  • 1924 – 6-1, only gave up 3 TD’s all season.

2.  C.A. Nelson Era 1930-1941; 69-27-13, a .670 winning %

  • 3 undefeated seasons.

3.  Otto Unruh Era, 1945-1966; 126-65-8, a .633 winning %

Won 3 Class A State Championships; Domination and consistent competitiveness in the CKL; Nationally published book “How to Coach Winning Football”.

  • 3 undefeated 9-0 seasons.
  •  1956 and 1957 teams went 18-0 and won 2 state titles.
  • 1963 team went 8-1 and won state championship.  Only loss of year was to Manhattan, 7-6, on a missed PAT.

4.  Larry Wiemers Era, 1977-1994; 114-71, a .616 winning%

  •  Solid, consistent football over twenty years.

1. 1978, 1979, 1980 teams went 26-5.
-2 District championships and 3 NCKL titles
-1980 team went 10-1, losing only to Andover in the regional final.
2.  1983, 1984, 1985 teams went 25-8
-Substate, district and bi-district titles.
3. 1993 team went 10-1
-NCKL champs, district, bi-district, regional runner-up
-Andover regional heartbreaker at Unruh Stadium.

100 yard flip hip sprint to north end.
100 yard bear crawl back and touch the sign

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Hell Week: Friday, Part I

Friday.  Finally the end of the week.  The attitudes and the energy are riding high.  Kids are working through the soreness and starting to feel like human beings again.  Friday.  This was a special day for me.  Tiger Tradition Day.  Until the admins told us we couldn’t use our stadium due to grounds-keeping concerns, we did the Hell Week Friday at Otto Unruh Stadium.  I think we lost something magical when we quit running this first Friday workout at the stadium.  If I had to do it all over again, I would have never asked the admins for permission to use stadium facility.  Shoot first and ask questions later.

The goal of Hell Week Friday was to remind the athletes they are part of something bigger than themselves, part of something a century old and something important to our community.  Part I of this Hell Week Friday post will cover the fan and community part of the Tiger Tradition and how we fit into the fabric of life in Clay County .  Part II will cover the historical part of the Tiger Tradition and its 100+ seasons of high school football.

Friday

Winning is not a sometime thing, it’s an all the time thing.  You don’t win once in a while; you don’t do the right thing once in a while; you do things right all the time.  Winning is a habit.”         -Vince Lombardi

6:30 -6:40  Stretch Runs
6:40-7:30  Tiger Tradition

I.  FANS – Otto Unruh Stadium seats

A.  Expectations and community pride

1.  Fans, parents, relatives want to see you do well, everyone wants us to be successful.

2.  Strong community sense of pride in this school’s athletic programs.

10 Stair Sprints – sprint up, walk down.

B.  Entertainment and Social Importance

1.  Friday night in America – CC true to this mantra.

2.  WE are the most important thing on Friday nights in this town.

Families, friends all gather to celebrate Tiger football…Let’s give them the best damn show EVERY Friday night.  Let’s let our families and friends to have something to BRAG about and be PROUD of.

5 minutes of stadium stairs

II.  Hold the Rope

A.  This is OUR HOUSE, this is OUR TURF!  We will crank it up an extra notch at home.

B.  Where do you want to fit into the Tiger Tradition?  Who in this group is going to Hold the Rope?
Coach Lane reads Hold the Rope while 10 min. Chain Wall Sit across stadium wall.

III.  Breakdown – 50 yard line
Imagine:  Friday night in Clay Center, America. Walk as team to north endzone.

100 yard flip hip sprint to north end.
100 yard bear crawl back and touch the sign

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Hell Week: Thursday

If there was an easier day to Hell Week, it had to be Thursday.  Speed work, low volume/high intensity, following our motto of getting faster by running fast,  then finishing the workout with agility cone runs.  The team building activity of having a blindfolded returning letter man being guided by underclassmen teammates through an obstacle course was a thing of beauty.  If, of course, you are the kind of person who considers a blindfolded, 250 lbs. offensive lineman (with a somewhat nasty disposition) trying to climb steps under the guidance of several scared-to-death-sophomores a thing of beauty.

Hell Week 2005

Thursday

Winning is not a sometime thing, it’s an all the time thing.  You don’t win once in a while; you don’t do the right thing once in a while; you do things right all the time.  Winning is a habit.”         -Vince Lombardi

6:30-6:40  Attitude and Self-Improvement

Attitude
1. “I’ll do it” instead of “I’ll try”
2.  Overcome the urge to quit or to not even try at all.

Self Improvement –identify weaknesses and improve

6:40-6:45  Stretch Runs

6:45-7:00  Sprint Ladder
10-4, 20-4, 40-2, 100-2   


7:00-7:15 Cut Circuit:  4 groups/4 flat cones per drill
1. Down and Backs – 3x
2. U-Turns – 3x Right and 3x left
3. Zig zags – 3x
4. Cut Drill – 3x down and 3x back

7:15 Hold the Rope – Freshman Read
Blindfold relay race.
Returning letterman blindfolded with team partners talking them through course.

Breakdown
Friday at Unruh Stadium

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Hell Week: Wednesday

Wednesday of Hell Week, the day after the day after soreness is the worst.  Kids would be so sore they wouldn’t even be whining.  They would think it would be a somewhat easy day since we were repeating the body weight circuit.  That is how a teenage boy thinks, it HAS to be easier today than it was Monday, doesn’t it?  But, with the soreness being worked out,  it was just as hard.  Then the hammer comes down in the form off upper body plyometrics,  military push-ups, side to side push-ups, wheelbarrows, push-up walk, walk the plank and around the world push-ups.  Whoa, makes me hurt just thinking about it!

Hell Week 2005

Wednesday

Winning is not a sometime thing, it’s an all the time thing.  You don’t win once in a while; you don’t do the right thing once in a while; you do things right all the time.  Winning is a habit.”         -Vince Lombardi

6:30-6:40  Performance Triangle: Nutrition, Hydration and Rest

6:40-6:50  Stretch Runs

6:50-7:05  Body Weight Circuit

Jumping Jacks 50
Push-Ups 20
Crunch Series – 10 center, right, center, left, center
Lunges- 10 each leg
Navy Seals- 10
Sit-Ups- 20
Squat Jumps- 20
Push Ups Side to side- 10
Walk the Planks- 3 down and back
Split Lunge Jumps- 12
Crunch Series- 10 center, right, center, left, center
Squat and Touch- 15
Walkouts- 10
Sit Ups- 20
Around the Clock Lunges
Supermans- 2 x 30 seconds

7:05-7:15 Upper Body Plyos
1.  Military Push-ups, Side to Side Push-ups.
2.  Wheelbarrows, Push-up Walk
3.  Walk the Planks, Around the World Push-ups

7:15 Hold the Rope – Sophomores
Inverted Wall Hold

Breakdown

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Hell Week: Tuesday

Tuesday of Hell Week was a day to actively recover from the shock of Monday.  Emphasis was put on warming up with our dynamic routine forcing oneself to obtain a full range of motion in the muscles.  Time to stretch out  the things we spent yesterday tightening up.  But don’t get confused thinking Tuesday was a vacation day.  It was simple, but it was hard.  Many kids this year still fondly remember the lunges up and down the hill at all possible angles.  The hill at Clay Center Community High School was (and still is) a real SOB.

Hell Week 2005

Tuesday

Winning is not a sometime thing, it’s an all the time thing.  You don’t win once in a while; you don’t do the right thing once in a while; you do things right all the time.  Winning is a habit.”         -Vince Lombardi

6:30-6:40  5 P’s  Purpose, Pride, Passion, Persistence, Performance

6:40-6:45  Stretch Runs

6:45-7:00  Hill Series (6 lines)
Runs- Forward and Back
Bear – Up and Down
Lunge Walk – Forward and Back, Diagonal Up & Down, Left and Right Across
Duck Walk – Forward, walk down

7:00-7:15  Four Corner Drill

7:15 Hold the Rope – Juniors Read
Team Cage Carry
1.  Seniors one lap.

2.  Returning lettermen, everyone else sits once then sit on cage.

3.  Whole Team

7:20  Abs – 50 Sit Ups

Breakdown

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Hell Week: Monday

Monday of Hell Week was designated as a “wake your body up” workout.  Not easy, but not too hard, just hard enough to make the kids conclude they needed to get to get in shape.  Below is the exact workout plan from 2005.  I think we had nine trash cans in the vicinity of the CCCHS gym and by the end of the second round of body weight circuit, they all had a young potential football player leaning over them.  Needless to say, the bodies were awake.

Hell Week 2005

Monday

Winning is not a sometime thing, it’s an all the time thing.  You don’t win once in a while; you don’t do the right thing once in a while; you do things right all the time.  Winning is a habit.”         -Vince Lombardi

6:30-6:40  Expectations
Make yourself better every day this summer…have fun and get better.
We need everyone to contribute in a positive fashion on and off field.
Find your niche and become great at what you do.

STAND TALL RULE
No bending over, sitting, leaning, kneeling…EVER
Bending over physically = Bending over mentally

6:40-6:50  Stretch Runs

6:50-7:05  Body Weight Circuit

Jumping Jacks 50
Push-Ups 20
Crunch Series – 10 center, right, center, left, center
Lunges- 10 each leg
Navy Seals- 10
Sit-Ups- 20
Squat Jumps- 20
Push Ups Side to side- 10
Walk the Planks- 3 down and back
Split Lunge Jumps- 12
Crunch Series- 10 center, right, center, left, center
Squat and Touch- 15
Walkouts- 10
Sit Ups- 20
Around the Clock Lunges
Supermans- 2 x 30 seconds

7:05-7:20 Agility Stations(~ 5min each.)
1.  Gate Drill
2.  5 Cone
3.  Full Moons/Half Moons
4.  5-10-5

7:20-7:30  Seniors- read “Hold the Rope”
Wall Sit 5 min.

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