Not a new book, just a new chapter...Mike Reed

Reed

Active member
I'm not sure what word I want to use to say "THANK YOU" to a six-man community that has been the foundation to how I want to live and raise my kids. I'm not sure how the future will pan out for me, but I haven't lived my live up to this point sitting on my hands. I am anxious and excited for my new direction and hope to live up to the expectations i have for myself as well the expectations you have for me.

When I reflect over the past 21 years as player/and coach, there's so many stories and people that flash to mind. But one story that stands out the most to me that I'd like to share happened to me in 2005. I'm not an english major and it is well documented on this website to never mispell a word, but I'm going to move foward anyways with my story.

It was a cold morning on that Sunday in 2005. The morning after the state-quarterfinal loss brought about an eerie aura of death into my home.
Church?! Um, no..I’m not showing my face outside these four walls of my living room and the further I can bury myself under the quilt on my couch the better.
I flip through the channels on the television only to find it even more depressing because the National Football League is showing the Cowboys game.
A football loss to me is like lying on bed of nails. I find myself not able to get comfortable and toss and turn every five seconds on the couch trying to readjust as if the movement actually will bring some sort of relief. Only to find that it really just causes more irritated spots.
God bless coaches wives, cause little do they know (or some know all too well) the ticking time bomb of emotion that lingers in the depths of a playoff loss.
Needless-to-say the curtains are pulled and the front door opens to the living room giving birth to the morning sun as it rays into my eyes blinding me.
As I shade my eyes with my hand, an expletive readies itself as it rolls from deep inside my lungs toward my wife. Blocking the sun with my eyes, I ready myself to blast away and inform my wife that my personal space today exceeds the four walls of this room and to stay clear.
But the words never find their way past the lips cause standing there a couple of feet way facing me is my little daughter in my wife’s arms with the warmest smile that could melt the snow in Alaska.
I hate it when my wife fights dirty.
“I know you are not in the mood,” she states. “But getting out of the house would do you some good, so go clean up and let’s go to Abilene and get your mind going in a positive direction.”
Reluctant, I heed her advice and we load up the car and make our way to Abilene. While on the trip it’s pretty quiet and we talk briefly about the game and how proud I was of the boys in overcoming adversity in order to put ourselves in contention to win the game. The week before we had a crucial and key injury to our team that forced us to move some personnel without creating hesitation within the playbook and players. More adversity than most would like to take on when playing an undefeated defending State Champion.
But none-the-less adversity or not, the game was scheduled to be played and we lost. But I was very proud of the efforts of the kids and hated to see that overshadowed by the loss. As I talked, my wife listened intently but the feeling of the loss was like a Mike Tyson punch in the gut, and regardless of the positive communication between husband and spouse it didn’t subside the feeling in my abdomen.
Nearing the town the Hawley, I tell my wife in order for me to have a positive day we need to turn our attention to other topics and not discuss the previous night. She nods and agrees with suggests we stop for gas and ice-cream.
I think a small smile came across my face for the first time as I pulled into the gas station.
I hopped out of the car, put the nozzle in the side of the car and paid at the pump. Opened the car door and asked what kind of ice-cream she wanted and walked inside the store.
Looking to my left and to my right I can’t really locate where they put them, so I make my way to the counter to ask the cashier when I’m approached by a short, heavy set man and his high school age son.
In a curious tone he smiles looking up at my hat asks me if I’m from Rule.
Being a military kid for 12 years of my life taught me look the man in the eye, even though I wasn’t sure whether to be proud of my moment from being from Rule or look him in the eye with the same pride that I asked my players last night to have with their effort.
“Yes sir!” I say with confidence looking him in the eye and extending my hand.
“That was some game last night.” He responds back
Such a simple sentence he says to me. But it could be taken in so many different ways. I’m sure I looked perplexed or as my grandmother would say, ‘Cat got your tongue?’ cause before I could usher a response that would lend itself to find out what direction he was going, he responds again by saying, “This is my grandson and he has never seen a six-man game, so I decided to take him to Brownwood to watch the game.”
“Well I appreciate that, it was a tough loss.” I responded being strong despite the tightening in my stomach. I start to open my mouth when I’m interrupted by the grey-haired gentleman continuing his thought from either.
“It’s been years since I have seen a game and I heard how good Rule was so we thought we would make the trip. I was impressed with both teams, but felt like the better team didn’t win.”
I tilt both eye brows towards the middle creating a crease above my nose as I start to stare at this unfamiliar grandpa, when I dawns on me that he has no clue who I am.
“Well sir,” I respond, plotting my exit and determining whether I should be rude in my departure or appreciative that he made such a trek and respect his opinion. But before I can utter the next syllable, he continues to share his thoughts on the play calling and defensive game plan to contain the oppositions spread back and receivers.
I’m not sure how long he talked, because I stood in amazement of several facts that are obvious to me, but not so obvious to him. Running them over and over in my head while we stood in the middle of this convenience store, I couldn’t help but be in shock.
My dad would be proud of me. I stood there and carried on a conversation with a total random stranger, that couldn’t tell you a single name of a player on our roster, the opponents roster, and let alone the name of the person who he was talking to and my affiliation with the team, about how bad a coach I was.
I finished the conversation with a hand shake and a smile, told him I appreciated his opinion when he asked my name. I really wasn’t sure how to respond to this departure from my new found acquaintance but looked at him with a smile and said, “Mike Reed, I’m the head football coach at Rule.” And with a wink, I turned leaving my last vision of the man with a squinted eyebrows and crease between his eyes.
I kept walking, pushed up the front glass doors to store and walked to the car. Pulling the gas pump from the side and racking it in the holder, I quickly hopped into the driver side to my wife giving me a perplexed look.
“Um,” She says, “You were in there a long time. Did they not have any ice cream?”
Quickly I end he sentence with a “Nooope!”
I think over time that story has gotten funnier to me. Of course the thicken skin from the summer sun and my ever growing wisdom that individuals don’t mind giving their opinion is as common as the blue bonnets in Texas landscape after a spring rain.
It really did hurt my feelings to be completely honest. How could a complete stranger who knew nothing of the circumstances that went into that game be so opinionated? But it’s not long after and even years later that I begin to realize it’s the opinion of more than just a mere stranger, but in fact a few parents, a few alumni, kin folks, and others harbored the same feelings over many games over many years of my coaching. Some voiced those opinions to me, some voiced them to someone else who in turn voiced their opinion for them.
I realize that some were right and some were wrong. Despite what many may say I did always sit back and analyze every comment or suggestion from personnel positioning to the “You need to tell your nose guard to put his fist right in front of the ball to distract the center from his snap!” comments. But much like a screen door on a front porch, I let some hot air in and it keep the insects from coming in and biting me.
But the simple fact is we have ALL been that guy in the convenience store. The word entitlement, as much as we would like to think that we are the only one who feel we have the dirt under our fingernails, goes to anyone in the with even the small percentage of stock into the program.
Right, wrong, or indifferent I realized that day the when we have an opinion and feel a certain way we wait until we have an audience. Most time the audience is someone who is related to the topic at hand. I couldn’t blame that old man for his opinion and i'm not going to blame you or anyone esle that has an opinon on this chapter i'm about to embark.
However, please know thati love you all and would not be standing where i am to today had it not been for sixman football..God Bless you all and THANK YOU
 

smokeyjoe53

Active member
Coach all I know is that years from now the win loss record won't amount to a hill of beans but the role that you have played in shaping the young people you've been associated with will live forever.
All any of us can really hope to accomplish is to be a positive influence on others.
From what I have been told, you have done that.
 

DianeBalthrop

New member
Really enjoyed that inside look to a coaches life Mike. You have been far more than a coach to the boys of every team you have been associated with. The boys that you have come into contact not only learned every small detail of being an athlete but have also learned what it means to become a real leader in their communities. Every community will have people who think they know the game of football and coaching better than you but being a "sideline coach" is one of the easiest jobs in the world but a REAL coach works with the kids day in and day out.
 

phostoukosmou

Active member
Mike,

I am the head football coach at Nazarene Christian Academy. We had the distinct honor of playing your team this last season. When I became a head coach for the first time at Glenview Christian School my eyes were opened to just how many "experts" in football there are in the world. I took more criticism on a daily basis than I thought was even possible. However, God had me there for a reason and I had to trust that. In fact, the next year I signed a contract with another school for more pay and less work. The very next day I called the school and had to tell them that I was going to stay with Glenview. I didn't know why other than I really felt the Lord leading me in to stay. We only had 5 boys for spring football and it looked like we may not even have a team. By the end of spring football we had 12 young men that were willing to do battle. I stayed at Glenview two more years and had some highs as well as some lows. Over three years we were 28-8 with two runner-ups and a semi-final appearance. I was told on a weekly basis how terrible a job I was doing. I say all this to let you know I have been through the ringer like most coaches. I feel your pain. When we lost the first state game in overtime, I was literally sick for a week. So, as one who has been through some similar experiences, as one who knows your boys by their first name, as one who studied your offense/defensive schemes from last year and this to prepare to play you guys, I have more respect for who you are as a coach and person than any other coach I have met in the 12 years I have been coaching. Your boys play with a competitive spirit with out compromising their integrity or sportsmanship. The program you run is first class. We were treated as honored guests the night we went to Throckmorton. The 11-man arena will be blessed to have such high quality coach. Keep doing what you are doing. Let the championships worry about themselves. Good luck and God bless on your new chapter.
 

Dogface2

New member
Actually,
I've always been impressed
how Mike got the best from ANY player
in ANY town.
Write a How-to book he should.

(I've suspected it was because of his vast knowledge base of Hardware.)

jus sayin'.
 
smokeyjoe53":2wear1k9 said:
Coach all I know is that years from now the win loss record won't amount to a hill of beans but the role that you have played in shaping the young people you've been associated with will live forever.
All any of us can really hope to accomplish is to be a positive influence on others.
From what I have been told, you have done that.


Amen!!

Best of luck in your new adventure Coach!!
 
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