Saturday, August 29, 2009

Going for Two and the Providence of God

Which one do you choose?

We ran into our second strong team in game two. Well coached and brimming with veteran play makers, Lexington Christian really took it to us in the first half.

We limped into our locker room down 28-6.

You have to realize the significance of this. Last year, we had a similar experience against Father Ryan. We were stuffed and stymied and I stood outside our locker room and did something very out-of-character for me. I said to our coaches, "it will be a miracle if we get back in this". We went out the 2nd half that game and gave a very lackluster performance and was pummeled.

A couple of my coaches were not happy with my lack of fight and finish, and they were right. I was their leader and showed a lot of doubt and weakness in that situation.
After that night- I vowed to never seem so hopeless ever again.

Fast forward to last night. I thought about that as I walked toward the locker room.

Now believe me when I say that a lot of times, we all give 'coach talk' that is somewhat cliche' and you wonder if it even sinks in.

I looked at our players- we were pretty roughed up. We had icebags and long faces everywhere.

I basically said that we had two choices- we could do like most people did, go out and lay down, get drummed and start over next week- OR we could decide to go out swinging with everything we had.

We chose option B-

I love the way we picked it up and played opportunistic in the 2nd half.

Two good punts flipped the field twice- two big turnovers, and a blocked punt later- we pulled it to 28-21 with about 6 minutes left.

We still struggled and had to punt, but pushed them deep with about 4 minutes to go. 3 and out... they punted and we started at midfield with 3:25 left.

We drove it down, overcoming two 4th down conversions and pushed it across the goal line with 31 seconds remaining.

Now my decision- go for 1 or 2?

I chose option B.

There are a couple of reasons I made that call, and it would not be appropriate to address it all here.

But.... the pass fell short.... game over.... 28-27.

It hurts to lose those. I mean a deeeep huurt! I spent a good part of that evening reviewing the call and the communication. There are a couple of things I definitely would have done differently- but I still would go for 2 knowing why I made that decision.

Where does God's sovereignty fit in that picture? Theologians have been debating this issue for centuries.

I do know this- when I look at my response 1 year ago vs Father Ryan and my response last evening in a similar circumstance- I know this... God is changing me. He uses the hard road and pain as a teacher. I am even better after last night because of some lessons I learned.

Finally, I am still so proud of my team. They have fought like warriors the last two weeks.

The team we lost to last week was ahead 50-0 at halftime last night against a 5A Tennessee team..

We lost to the likely A and AA Kentucky state champions the last two weeks- it's time to move into our region play and see what we have.

All I can say is... I am very confident...we will be ready.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Lock-down, Beat-down, Break-down- A Day to Remember

Our first game of the season produced an amazing day of events. We loaded our buses and were about to pull out when we received word of a police enacted 'lock-down' of our campus. There were some criminals eluding police who happened to end up in the woods next to our school.

I was on a bus with our team watching police helicopters, swat, and uniformed officers setting up a perimeter which included us.

Fortunately, they let us go. Unfortunately, everyone in our building had to stay put for almost 2 hours. I heard that our people did great in the circumstances- but it was the start of a wild day.
They caught the bad guys- I hope they get the book thrown at them.

Our next stop was at the airborne museum at Ft Campbell. It was an amazing display of heroism and tradition.

The game was a beat down, Ft Campbell is the back-to-back- AA Kentucky state champion and they played very well. We started slow, they started fast, and it was too much of a storm to overcome. Two turnovers in the 2nd half pushed the game out of reach. End game 55-26.

We ended up with 23 first downs- 377 yds of offense. But their All-American Qb Antonio Williams had 153 yds passing and 202 rushing.

Our team demonstrated courage and class- we will live to fight again. But we made too many errors and missed too may tackles to beat a team like that.

Then, of all things, the bus broke down on the way home.

Life is like that sometime... lock-down,beat-down, break-down.

What did the apostle Paul say about these things?

II Corinthians 4:7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. 8 We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10 always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies

Romans 8:18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. 23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

So in the end, I still hear Staff Sgt. Ken Weichert calling out in that great army cadence- "Are you gonna quit?"
And I hear our team say, "NEVER".

Next week we play Lexington Christian at home.

Friday, August 21, 2009


Recently, I had my Senior Apologetics class label themselves. We all hate labels, but they are a reality. In fact, 'sloganeering' is a huge aspect of postmodernism.

As I think back, I would have not written anything creative- but these students came up with some great lines!

They also wrote some very personal journals about where they are. They were so real and honest- please pray for me to never violate that sacred trust I have with them.

Also, as expected, they are all across the board in their walk with God- as we all are. Please pray also that God would sweep them up in His arms and love them through these tender days.

Here are some 'labels' written by current high school seniors:

'Christian'- was the most common

investigator, thinker, struggling, non denominational, seeker, believer and follower of Jesus Christ, Psalmist, stuck, believer with some issues, the spark in my group, dreamer, aspiring-christian, thrill-seeker, distracted, inappropriately content, frustrated, hurting, romantic, rule bender, analyzer, normal,passionate, and ready.

This should be an exciting year!

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Juggling Gas-filled Water Balloons

Coaching in 2009 is an amazing process.

First, let me say again and again that I get to work in one of the top high school football jobs in the country. I have supportive parents, good facilities, committed players... etc.

However, I would be lying if I told you that day to day is easy.

Anytime you have hard charging human beings in competition.... there are dynamics that never stop flying at you. Most of my job is keeping a goal in mind and maneuvering, inspiring, correcting, compromising and evaluating a group of people through the process.

I would guess that any job involving people and relationships is this delicate and it is very similar to running a family.

So if you think about it- pray for me. I feel like I am juggling gas filled water balloons with flames all around me. Without God's mercy and help, I am doomed.

Every now and then I drop one and it doesn't break. Whew!

And now back to the show.......