Monthly Archives: January 2012

The Wingbuster Story: Part One

The Wingbuster. I imagine when the approximately 300 or so former Tiger football players from that era in Clay County, KS hear those two words, it brings a sly smile to their faces. The Wingbuster was a football defense we packaged and the kids bought into in order to stop one of the most dangerous football offenses we faced, the Double Wing. This Double Wing offense run to perfection by an area school, Rock Creek High School.

The Wingbuster was so big, such an obsession for me, it will take a series of blog posts to try and give it justice. I probably spent a solid six months of my life researching, scouting, designing, presenting and thinking about this defense.

To understand the Wingbuster, one must first understand the motivation behind the obsession. Perhaps we should start with a one little detail about me;  I don’t like to lose. Period. Fear of losing is a great motivator. Do the work, give it your very best effort whether player or coach. Do everything you can within the limits of the rules to win. It is an excellent driving force.

I like Rock Creek High School. I really respect their head coach, Mike Beam, his coaching staff and the way they go about their business. But that offense, that stinking off-the-wall, need-at-least-a-week to prepare offense drove me crazy. The first four years I coached, we played Rock Creek only in freshman and JV football. Without the focus and preparations of the varsity program on preparing for freshman and JV games, we literally got the bejesus kicked out of us by Rock Creek four years in a row. We, the coaches or the players, had no clue how to defend the Double Wing and the Creek rolled over us for embarrassing losses.

In 2003, we went 0-9 in varsity football. I never, ever wish a goose-egg season on anyone. It is miserable for kids, coaches, families and fans. The last JV game of the 2003 season happened to be a road game at Rock Creek.  Our JV kids were starting to get things together and finished over .500 that season, but true to form, we got steamrolled that day against the Mustangs.

The week prior, in the biannual state scheduling meeting, guess who we draw for the home opener in the 2004 season–yep, Rock Creek. So, we are opening the varsity season playing a team that humiliates us on a regular basis, at home where there is no tune-up road game to work the kinks out, and, perhaps the worst thing, we were coming off a deflating 0-9 season. Crap!

But something happened that JV game day; something that lit a fire in me to do whatever I could not to allow us another ass-whipping at their hands in the future. Coach Wallace and myself were standing outside the visitors locker room waiting for our JV kids to dress out, when Rock Creek’s athletic director comes over and starts up a conversation. He happens to mention that, at the scheduling meeting the previous week, he gave Coach Beam the choice of opening up with us or another area school. The AD tells us, “Coach said to pick Clay Center because we always beat them and they’re way down.” Game on, brother.

I still burn inside when I think about that day. That hurt. That hit the pride hard. I knew right then and there we needed to do whatever we needed to do from November to August to win that game. So I went to work.

Next time- The research and the basics of the Wingbuster.

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The New Colossus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

-Emma Lazarus, 1883
For Martin Luther King, Jr. day 2012,  remember how and why our great country came to be. Remember what this great country should stand for and what we will always stand for.
We are the melting pot. We are the hope. We are America.

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The Brick

This is the Brick on his trick or treat stop by the house on Halloween. He’s a cool kid who, despite being the son of a former running back, is the youngest member of the Coach Hays Bubba Lineman Club.  It must be the positive influence of his mother’s genes.

One of those many unexpected benefits of being a coach is seeing former players do great things with their lives.  So proud and don’t really know if I deserve the right to be.

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Every Five Years…

When you have kids in high school and they’re involved in activities, mid to late spring is a crazy time. There is always something going on. Every year, it seems like it gets past spring break, everyone realizes the school year is winding down and schedules some sort of activity, meeting, meet, etc. to squeeze in before school year’s end. Last March, our local high school held it’s annual Academic Awards/National Honor Society Initiation/Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony event. It was a weeknight during one of the busiest weeks of the year. Since there were no sports heroes I knew personally being inducted into the Hall of Fame, I usually would have stayed home and skipped the event. But, as my kids were part of the academic festivities, I went with the plan of sliding out the back door after they were announced .
I don’t know why, but for some reason, I decided to stay for the the Hall of Fame  induction ceremony to listen to the inductee’s speeches. In the end, what a great decision that was! One of the inductees, Dr. Rachel Schmidt-Brown, Class of 1981, gave an acceptance speech which was pure gold. Dr. Schmidt is a professor of Spanish at the University of Calgary and a world renowned DON QUIXOTE scholar. Basically, she has spent an entire career studying and researching one great work of classic literature. Dr. Schmidt spoke about finding and following your passion in life. Good stuff. But, what really stuck to my ribs was when she spoke about how she sits down every five years and reads DON QUIXOTE.
I just about jumped out of my seat. You mean a person who spends every day of her long and illustrious career studying one book, written in Spanish 400 years ago, reads it for FUN every five years? Huh. Then came the take home message; Dr. Schmidt explained she reads DON QUIXOTE every five years to get a fresh perspective of the manuscript from where she currently is in her life.  She knows she has changed over the five years; changes in family, kids and career. She explained how the story takes a new life; a new meaning with every successive read. What a beautiful concept!

So that got me thinking? What books or stories do I read over and over again? And now that is has been pointed out, how does an older, wiser perspective affect me. Below is my list of stories I read over and again.
Young-At-Heart Novel
THE HOBBIT by J.R.R Tolikien (Always pick up something new with this one, the first story I really fell in love with)
Short Story
PLATTE RIVER by Rick Bass (Great story about ex-football players adjusting to the life after. Plus, I finished reading this the first time at about 2 AM the night before the twins were born, which helps with the emotional bond)
JURRASIC PARK by Michael Crichton (Science, cloning, thriller, greed, chaos theory and dinosaurs…how can you go wrong here?)
Lenten Gospel Rotation (Every Lent, I read Matthew, Mark, Luke or John in a four year cycle. Always surprised how my life perspective affects the way I read the Gospels.)

Do you have books you read over and over again? How does time and life influence your reads? Please leave a comment, I would like to know.

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Fitness New Year Proposal

Happy New Year!
But, please people, hold off for now on the gargantuan fitness resolutions for January 1, 2012. Please. It is January, folks. It’s mid-winter Kansas here;  dark, cold, and there’s more than likely snow on ground. January is not, I repeat, IS NOT, the best time to make fitness resolutions if you want to give yourself the best chance at success with those resolutions.
Instead,  try to accomplish some baby steps forward at this time. Eat a little better and move your body a little more often. Maybe try to learn something new your body can do or perhaps do something it hasn’t done in a while. Take the baby steps, then make a new target date for the big fitness resolutions. A new date when the weather is a little better, when the sun shines a little more and life in general makes the big fitness changes easier. I propose we designate a new date, perhaps April 1 (April Fool’s Day), to be the official date of the Fitness New Year.
So, take those baby steps, build some confidence in your body and what you can do. Lay the groundwork for significant lifestyle fitness changes come April 1, 2012.
Coach Hays
P.S. I am going to try something new in 2012. I will  attempt to post daily  the FamFit and Human Weapon workouts on Twitter under the hashtag #FamFit .  Follow me @coachhays64, if interested. 

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