FNF Coaches Talk — Community Rallies Around Team Affected By Fire, Car Auction Fundraiser, Matt Nagy’s Secret Trick Plays

Welcome back, Coaches. We’ve got a few good stories for you today.

1. Community Rallies Around W.V. Team That Lost Field House to Fire (WHSV 3)

This is a great story about football communities coming together around the holidays.

A November fire in the field house at Petersburg High (W.V.) caused over $200,000 in damage just two days before the football’s team season-finale on Senior Night. As the football coach and players watched the building burn, they started to receive offers to help from rival schools.

With the school facing the final week of their season without equipment and without facilities for a home game, other schools around the area – including rivals and their opponents – stepped up to provide.

Sean Biser, the head coach for Keyser High School, donated helmets, shoulder pads, and other equipment for the Petersburg team to be able to finish their season strong.
Matt Altabello, the head coach for Moorefield High School, offered up their school’s football field for the game to be played. Moorefield has a bye week for their final week, and that’s where Petersburg’s final game of the season was played.

In addition, schools from all over West Virginia and even Maryland and Ohio have reached out to offer support to the school.

“We are West Virginians. When tragedy strikes, we are there to support our fellow Mountaineers. We have seen true sportsmanship and compassion from area teams lending a hand to PHS Football after today’s field house fire,” stated Hardy County Sports on Twitter.

What could you offer a team in need if they lost everything in a fire?

2. Massachusetts football program gets $15,000 from classic car raffle (Enterprise News)

This is a pretty cool idea for a fundraiser. Of course, you’ve got to get someone to donate a classic Mercedes-Benz to your program to raffle off.

Around $15,000 was raised for the Brockton High (Mass.) football program through an unconventional fundraiser, involving a 1929 Mercedes-Benz Gazelle that was raffled off by a former player.

Brockton High alumnus Ken Buckley, who won a football championship with the high school team 47 years ago, donated his 1929 Mercedes-Benz Gazelle kit car to support his alma mater, with a fundraising raffle that provided 100 percent of the proceeds to the Boxers via the Brockton High School Alumni Association. Buckley said about 350 tickets were sold at $50 a pop, and some people donated cash without getting in on the raffle. About $15,000 was raised for the football program through the unconventional fundraiser, which culminated with a drawing held Thursday at Marciano Stadium.

“It will really help put the team in a better direction and help make them more competitive,” said Buckley, emphasizing that there were no ancillary costs to hold the fundraiser. “I’m happy to contribute in any way that I can. It’s a good amount of money for the program.”

Buckley, a business owner who lives in Raynham, bought the car 12 years ago, before painstakingly perfecting the vehicle with a new frame, a modern engine and other modifications.

The winner of the 1929 Mercedes-Benz Gazelle was Al Matta, a 1972 graduate of Brockton High School, who played basketball and baseball for the Boxers. Buckley said the tickets were all thrown into a 1972 Brockton High football helmet, before a 10-year-old pulled out the winner.

″(Matta) bought like 10 tickets,” said Buckley, which means Matta won the classic convertible for a mere $500. “He was in Florida but took the phone call from me. … We’ll be delivering the car to him.”

What is one thing you could raffle off for your program that would bring in a significant amount of money in donations?

3. Why an NFL coach keeps his trick plays locked away (Chicago Sun-Times)

We know all football coaches play things close to the vest when it comes to trick plays, and now we get an explanation of why.

In the NFL, the Bears, like all teams, collect trick plays.

Bears coach Matt Nagy keeps film of potential trick plays in the video room.

“We, like, name them crazy names so that even coaches within the building don’t know where they’re at,” he said. “We’ve even gone as far as whiting out the font. You know how, like, on the computer you can put all letters in white? We know it’s there, but it’s really not because it’s white. We do that, too. We do some crazy things. But it’s across the league.”

Why hide it from your own staff?

“You’d be surprised,” Nagy said. “Once one person knows, then two people know. I want nobody to know. I just want to know.”

How do you ensure that your trick plays won’t get leaked before you run them?

What’s driving the conversation in your locker room? Email Managing Editor Dan Guttenplan or Tweet us @fnfcoaches. Don’t forget to use that hashtag #FNFCoachesTalk