Gosh, it seems like a long time since I have been trying to herd the cats known as private school 6-man football teams through this board.
Back in 2001 and 2002, when I was an unpaid, volunteer athletic director for Lifegate Christian School in Seguin, I got the foolish notion that Lifegate needed 6 man football for the school to continue to grow and retain more students in the high school grades. I had a lot of the plans all set except for one thing – who would coach the team? I knew that I had no business doing that, but well, the Lord looks after his flock and fools and I knew I qualified under one of those two categories. The assistance I got from the folks on this board was extremely important as we got started.
Fortunately, in the fall of 2002, John Rabon retired from the Seguin schools and became PE teacher at Lifegate. He had coached football since God was a kid at all sorts of schools. I think he said his first job was helping out at Star H. S., probably sometime in the early 70s. One of our first meetings, I told him that I wanted to start a 6 man program at Lifegate and was he interested in coaching? I wasn’t sure what his answer was going to be … but when he told me that that year (2002) was the first year since he was 12 that he wasn’t playing or coaching football and he wasn’t sure how he’d make it, we knew we had a program.
We kicked off the program in 2003 and it was a hit … I think since 2005, John may have had only 1 or 2 losing seasons, one state title (2012) and a whole lot of state-semifinals. If I remember right, in the last six or seven years maybe with one exception, Lifegate’s last playoff loss has been to the team that ended up winning state.
Okay, I got the bug. Even before formally stepping down as Lifegate AD in 2006, I was writing the game articles for the Seguin Gazette and KWED Seguin Daily News, running golf tournaments to buy new equipment, and helping John with a lot of the “behind the scenes stuff” until I left Lifegate Christian School at the end of the 2012-2013 school year.
For about 6 years, I was honored to have many of you coaches be a part of the annual Six Man Coaches Clinic, first in Seguin, and then the last two years in San Antonio and then New Braunfels. Jeremy Wentrcek’s gatherings in Temple and Jerry Burkhart’s clinics were the template for these clinics and it was great to have as many as 100 coaches show up, some from as far away as California, Florida, and Colorado!
Jeremy is resuming his clinic in Round Rock on June 10th – be sure to get information from him at firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s been a pleasure meeting many coaches (also known as friends) at clinics, games, league meetings, or if just by phone and email. Granger Huntress has also gotten to be a good friend – seems we were always able to find time to grab lunch in Austin when I was in town!
I spent two years assisting my friends at Cross Lutheran School in New Braunfels, where my son attended 7th and 8th grade, to build their six-man program and replace their worn and old equipment.
Now that my son is in 9th grade, we moved him to a nearby 4A public school and he’s playing something I refer to as “crowded field football.” While I was able to take in a few six-man games this year, I just am not going to be able to devote the time that I did as “private schools board moderator” in the past years.
I’ve let Granger know that I am going to turn the reigns over to someone else – which means we are looking for volunteers.
Here’s what you basically do:
• Watch the board – occasionally, it gets out of hand, but not often. My basic rule was that I didn’t like us old folks picking on high school kids who go out and take the hits and play the game.
• Chase down school/team contacts (home schools have made this a little more problematic). While it’s not as bad as before, there are often one or two scores you need to chase down on Monday mornings. Fortunately, league websites, and maxpreps.com have been very helpful.
• Maintain contacts with the private school leagues: TAPPS, T-CAL, TCAF, TAIAO on new schools and alignments. The leagues have been very helpful on this and I appreciate their support and friendship
If you are interested, please contact either myself (jgtaddy –at- Hotmail –dot- com) or Granger Huntress (sixmanguru –at- gmail –dot- com). Since this is Granger’s joint, he’s the final decision maker on how he wants to go.
I’m not leaving for good … I expect to surf over here from time to time. But all good things must come to an end. And for now, this is my end of the road.
John G Taddy