Welcome back, Coaches. We hope we’ll be able to provide you with some stories to talk about in your offices.
1. No. 1 Tuttle uses gutsy play call to hold off No. 2 Poteau (News OK)
Here’s a story about a coach who picked the perfect time to dial up a play that he’d been saving all season. Tuttle coach Brad Ballard called his favorite trick play with his team holding a 3-point lead with just over three minutes remaining in an Oklahoma Class 4A state semifinal matchup against Poteau. Give Ballard credit for this: Not only did he call a trick play with his team up three late in the game, he called it on a fourth-and-goal from the 8, when a field goal would have given his team a 6-point lead and forced Poteau to score a touchdown on its final drive.
Instead, Ballard’s call helped seal the game for Tuttle.
Tuttle senior quarterback Carson Berryhill took the snap and threw a jump ball to 6-foot-4 senior Camden Periman. Periman won the battle in the end zone, and Tuttle won the game.
It seems that Tuttle had plenty of practice at executing that play. Ballard said he had the play in his back pocket all season.
“We’ve been holding that one for a while,” Ballard said. “It’s all about players. They made plays when they had to make plays. I cannot be more proud of them at all.”
Coaches — How are you able to save your trick plays for late in the season if you know there’s a great chance they’ll work against any opponent?
2. Use of IVs to hydrate high school football players sparks controversial debate (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
Here’s a story we haven’t seen before. Several South Georgia football programs have turned to medical professionals to administer intravenous fluids to players — sometimes pre-game, at halftime and post-game — prompting a debate on whether the method is necessary for high school athletes.
There is no evidence to suggest its use creates a competitive advantage. Proponents believe it is the best way to protect at-risk athletes suffering from dehydration in select circumstances. Opponents express concerns about the methods and list potential hazards.
Colquitt County coach Rush Propst was one of only two coaches willing to speak about using IVs to hydrate players. Propst, who has been at the center of several controversies throughout his career, believes the method of rehydration is actually safer than encouraging players to drink water.
“We’ve been using IVs for our kids since the mid-80s,” Propst said. “It’s just being smart and preventative.”
We encourage you to read this story to learn about the risks and rewards of using this hydration strategy.
How do you make sure your players are staying hydrated during practices and games?
3. Notre Dame’s smooth November includes soothing floats, nap room (Indianapolis Star)
We always thought of Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly as an old-school, stuck-in-his-ways coach, but this story certainly dispels that theory. Kelly has turned over a new leaf this season by taking his foot off the accelerator and giving his athletes time to rest and recover.
As Notre Dame closes in on its first-ever spot in the relatively new College Football Playoff, improved rest-and-recovery methods have played a key role in reversing a pattern of November fades in recent years. From tighter practice schedules and more forgiving travel itineraries to a dedicated nap room at the Guglielmino Athletics Complex, Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly and his expansive support staff have made player care a top priority.
Player preservation has been the theme of the season for Notre Dame, and the Irish are likely to earn a spot in the College Football Playoff as a result. Some of the changes Kelly has made include adding a float tank for players, a nap room, shorter practices, fewer full-contract practices and the elimination of needless walk-throughs and stadium visits on road trips.
“We’ve taken the pads off; I typically haven’t done that before,” Kelly says. “And practices have been shorter. That typically gets you moving a little bit quicker.”
What steps do you take to make sure your players are feeling energized late in the season?
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!