FNF Coaches Talk Oct. 15

Happy Monday! We hope you’re coming off a big win. Here are the topics we’re discussing in the newsroom today.

1. Special needs player scores TD in rivalry game in Massachusetts (MetroWest Daily News)

We’re always happy to start the week on a positive note, and this is a great story from this week’s action in Massachusetts. A special needs player for the Ashland football team took one to the house after the game had been settled between Ashland and Westwood.

“Not only is it homecoming weekend, but right before the teams went into the locker room for halftime, Clockers special needs player Owen Lovely scored a scripted touchdown. Lovely, who wears No. 87 because he loves Patriots standout tight end Rob Gronkowski, delivered a big Gronk spike before being mobbed by his teammates in a great moment before halftime.”

Here’s video from the touchdown.

One thing that always surprises us is how often this type of feel-good play happens in high school football.

Have you ever drawn up a play to specifically reward a hard-working player on the team? How did the team respond?

2. Charity donates cooling technology shoulder pads to Lee High School (CBS Jacksonville)

We’ve been doing stories on new technology in high school football for several years, and we didn’t even know this technology existed.

“Lee High School’s football team has new cooling technology in their shoulder pads. The pads were made possible by a local charity honoring a late Florida high school football player named Zachary Polsenberg. He died from heat stroke in 2017. When connected to the pads, a compressor pumps chilled air to the back and front of the pads, cooling the players’ chests and backs.”

The Zachary Polsenberg Heat Severity Charity collected public donations, and a large donation from Degree Men, to secure funding. The technology was installed by My Cool Air. Now every player at Lee High School has access to the cooling system when playing football.

“Your chest, your heart, that’s your motor,” said Zach Williams, a representative of My Cool Air. “So as long as you cool down the motor, you’re going to cool down the body.”

Would you be interested in reading a story more about the My Cool Air technology?

3. Urban Meyer Addresses the Trend of Players Graduating High School Early to Attend Spring Practices (The Spun)

Urban Meyer’s comments about the trend of players leaving high school early to attend spring practices at the college level actually came in a report by the Boston Globe Spotlight team in a look at Aaron Hernandez’s life, but we’ll stay away from the tragic aspect of this story as much as possible. The one note of interest for high school football coaches was a comment made by Hernandez’s high school principal in Bristol, Conn.

“If I had it to do over again, I would have fought tooth and nail not to let that kid graduate at midyear, not to let him go to Florida at midyear,” said his high school principal, Dennis Siegmann, in his first extended interview about Hernandez. “Had we had a longer time with him, maybe we could have changed things.”

It’s an interesting topic to consider. Is it helpful or hurtful to take kids off of high school campuses six months early to get them started on their college careers? We would imagine — like anything else — it depends on the kid.

“Meyer said he did not recall meeting with Hernandez’s high school principal and “never pushed someone” to graduate high school early, although he sees it as a positive jump-start to college for many recruits.”

Is Meyer right about this? Do you think the trend of high school players graduating early provides a positive jump-start to college for many recruits?

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!