Gimme Two Good Ones!

Standard

Until you walk into the Greenwood GMAC on a hot July morning to see, or better yet experience it, there are no words that can explain FASDOGS.  This Greenwood tradition started by Coach Rick Jones 14 summers ago began with 180 football players.  This summer, 600 plus athletes, primarily from Greenwood, are leaving their sweat on the newly installed turf.  Now, it is not just football players, but young athletes from the 3rd grade all the way up to alumni and even parents that are participating in this speed and agility program.

Coach Jones and his staff has fined tuned this program over the years by combining other fitness training, such as Crossfit, old school,  and weight training through range of motion exercises while concentrating on proper form and strengthening the core muscle group.  All in the name of shared pain for a common goal to be faster, stronger, quicker, and more agile in your sport of choice.

Athletes have staggered start times beginning at 6:30 am with the last group starting at 9:30. Coaches are positioned around the indoor facility, weight room, and on the football field at numerous stations as the groups rotate through.   A coach will explain their station at least 35 times in one day!

It is more than a good work out, but a social event.  Some parents that don’t participate in FASDOGS, will meet others to walk or run around the track or bring lawn chairs to visit with friends and watch the activities.  The athletes get there usually about 20 minutes early also to visit with their friends or teammates.

Once the athletes begin their session, it is all business with a “Yes sir, Bulldogs ready to work”, straight rows, counting off reps, and total focus.  The peer pressure is very strong to do your best and try hard in front of your friends, older peers, and especially the coaches.  Everyone wants to hear a “Good Job, Jones” from the coaches.

The coaches  acknowledge every athlete that is there by speaking or patting them on the head at the start during stretches walking back and forth down each line.  They also try very hard to learn everyone’s name although this task is getting more difficult. It is fun when a younger sibling gets to join the program for the first time.  Coaching every athlete up is the goal, so a critique of form or effort is always led and followed by a positive comment.  The coaches coach from the inside out, so they will be in the middle of the circuit, not on the outside as a spectator.

If an athlete attends every day of FASDOGS, they receive a 100% Bulldog shirt.  There are no excuses, you were either there participating EVERY day or you were not to get the shirt, they don’t give out 98% shirts.  Even with vacations, church camps, other sport obligations, and sickness, a large percentage of the athletes attend every day and earn the 100% shirt.

13654376_1158060267588462_3043646338264031684_n13886258_1167488859978936_204509886137700224_n

FASDOGS 2017 starts July 10th, you can find forms at the Greenwood Administration office, the GMAC, or online at http://www.greenwooddogpound.com.  Find FASDOGS on Facebook to keep up on news, pictures, and videos.

Regan’s GHS Senior Advice

Standard

As both daughters headed into their Senior year of high school exactly one year ago, we talked about several things they could do to make it the best year ever. Regan decided to expand on her advice list and share it with incoming seniors at Greenwood High School.

Stop stressing about what college you want to attend. Visit your options, keep an open mind, and go with your gut. there is no wrong choice, you will make the right one.

mizzou

Your friends at the beginning of the year might not be the same good friends you end up with at the end of the year and that is totally okay.

Say yes to going out more. Don’t get lazy and stay at home. Netflix is awesome but it can wait for rainy, cold nights.

Request baked potatoes in the lunch room, they are the best. And be friendly and respectful to the cafeteria staff.

Say hello to people you don’t usually say hi to with a friendly smile.

Life can get crazy, but be thoughtful. If you see someone having a bad day, text them.

Don’t use too much baby powder at the football games. if someone complains, they will most likely ban this fun tradition again.

baby powder

Be happy for other people’s success.

Attend all football games you can, you will miss these times of hanging out with your friends to root for your team.

If there are themes for the athletic games, dress appropriately and have fun.

pink gameusacamo

Try and get your homework done just in case you totally bomb the test.

Bring snacks.

Bring your phone charger everywhere you go.

Don’t waste time disliking anyone.

Attend as many sporting events or events as possible.

baseball

Don’t plan a senior trip too far in advance.

Be careful what you say on Twitter.

Never use YikYak.

Eat breakfast because if you don’t, you will starve especially if you have the later lunch.

The mashed potatoes are good!

Find which teachers are strict about the dress code and avoid them at all costs.

Take opportunities given to you.

Have an umbrella.

Pray all year for at least one snow day.

Go to the prom, nobody is too cool for prom.

prom cool

Don’t drive fast in the parking lot.

Park in your assigned section or they will find you.

Go on the club trips.

bus trip

Make a road trip out of the away football games.

Love on your pets at home especially if they are old.

Make friends from other schools.

Take the ACT Prep course even though it sucks, it does help.

Don’t walk too slow in the hallways and always walk on the right side.

Take lots of pictures.

selfieselfie pep

Sparknotes and Shmoop are helpful, just saying…

Have your own calculator.

Try to not lose your pencil and pens.

If you’re a girl, and for some guys, always bring an extra hair tie.

Be thankful for home cooked meals.

Try to be organized.

Try not to stress, things usually work out.

stress

Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Take turns bringing candy for you lunch table.

Remember that high school is temporary.

Don’t feel like you have to dress up every day, because you don’t.

red

 

Always have gum.

Make friends with your teachers.

Invite people to do things.

Let friends go if they don’t want to stay.

Put everything in your sport, or anything you like to do.

2015-05-05 19.42.51

Be realistic about relationships.

Realize life can be better than this.

College is just around the corner.  Enjoy where you are and the moment you are in right now.

vball

Hold on to the people that you trust.

Career Center bathrooms are the very best.

Don’t get to the school so late every day that you have to sprint to class.  It sucks.  (Regan really never took this advice).

grad

Make the most of high school because it doesn’t last forever!

Thanks, Regan, for writing this advice list.  We can’t wait to hear what advice you have for Freshman College students next summer.

 

Mona’s Book Tour

Standard

This week is the start of becoming empty nesters.  Kevin is officially a licensed Arkansas driver and just drove off to a friend’s house for the day.  Allyson is 3 months away from getting her official license too so I am guessing she will very soon be hauling Regan’s butt around anywhere and everywhere their allowances can afford.

I turned on the TV this morning to Hoda and Kathy Lee’s show where they had recent empty nester moms talking about the huge adjustments of their children growing up and moving on.  Kathy Lee’s daughter is getting ready to move to California from New York.  Another guest, who is a psychologist and mother, was having such a hard time with the transition, that she wrote a book about it.   

I could write a book, in fact could write several survival books.  Starting with being a 32-year-old career woman who had been on her own since she was 16 making the marital adjustment, quitting my job of 10 years, having 2 kids immediately, bringing in another young daughter to the family soon after, and how to make some extra money on the side without having to commit real job demands. 

The second book could be on how to survive marrying a 40-year-old bachelor/workaholic that up until marriage has had three passions in life:  football, food, and coffee, in that order.  Oh and do I have some advice on that one!  I am  really not sure that there is a market for this book, can’t think of anyone that has had this situation except for Coach’s brother in Texas.  He was a 41-year-old bachelor that married a career woman.  His wife thought she had it all planned out in the big city by having first a little girl and then trying to have one more , hopefully a girl,  to make their family complete.   God does have a sense of humor and had different plans for them when he delivered them  little red-headed twin boys.

Last is the book I have ahead of me where 3 kids move out and a husband retires all within a year.  I am thinking this might be my greatest survival test of all, mainly because I am tired.  And all of you Greenwood football fans, I am on your side, let’s keep Coach Jones working well into retirement! I am thinking a few extra years so that I can rest up without all the chores of running a household with 3 kids would be my kind of retirement.

Old Cars, Hunting, and Birthday Surprises

Standard

Since 1995, Coach has driven a white Geo Prism which is almost as famous as he is in Greenwood, Arkansas.  Fairly soon after the purchase, he hit a pothole and messed up the alignment.  Now, many years and tires later, with no hub caps, no power steering, a driver’s door that only opens from the outside, roll down windows, folded up papers stuck in numerous places to keep the rattles down, unexplainable smells, and a horrendous noise coming from under the hood, he is still driving it proudly.  Coach doubles the value of his car every time he fills it up with gas.

All 3 kids, Kevin, Regan, and Allyson, now have their learner’s permits.  Kevin will be the first official driver when he turns 16  today on July 1.  Good news,  he is just like his Dad and would proudly take over the Geo as long as he can call it  his own.  Last night, Kevin chose Fuji’s for his birthday dinner.  On the way, we discussed Kevin’s financial situation, which was a short discussion,  and the possibility of him buying the Geo for $500.  My response was to let him buy it for $400 and we skip Fuji’s and eat at home. Kevin was considering that offer, but as you might have guessed, Coach values food much more than his Geo so Kevin was not given that option.

This morning, we sent Kevin on a birthday present hunt. He had already  gotten some new and rather expensive shoes so expectations were very low, but he still wanted an electric guitar. His dream is to be a worship leader.  Each present led him to a new present with clues:

Celebrating your 16th birthday

With a hunting game to play

Kevin, it is Up 2 You

Go to the dryer to find your clue.

You will have to do more than listen

To find  out what you might be missing

Everything, including the kitchen sink

Will make you think…..

We “picked” out something electrifying

That could be on the stove top frying

Dreams come true, there are no fools

Sometimes it just takes  all the right tools

Search high and low, at the end of your nose

In front of your face “time” and you will be close

Whatchamallcallit you have seen it before

Go to the coat closet and open the door

(Sorry, the candy bar got eaten before I could snap a picture!)

You are almost there, this holds the key

To everything you want to be

Not East, West, South, but North

Look with your eyes and go forth

Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.  Joshua 1:9

Happy 16th Birthday, Kevin!

Positive Characteristics for a Successful Coach

Standard

Everyday something sparks me to express my point of view, but this is what prompted me to start this blog.  Several years ago, I had stumbled onto the Topix website for Greenwood AR and read some comments from about 5 people venting about various situations within our town’s government.  The comments were destructive, vulgar, and embarrassing for our town.  Recently, I brought up the Topix website again and peeked at a few of the comments which were the same few people talking about similar issues.   So I wondered if my childhood hometown Topix page is like this too.  Yep, could be the same 5 village knuckleheads talking about their small Missouri town.

I read this week’s Greenwood paper and on the front was an article written by our mayor.  His main theme of the article was to blame  our current situation on the past government and our current council members.  Over the years of living in Greenwood, the joke has been that Coach should be mayor.   So that made me think how would Coach run a city government like he runs his football program.

1.  Coach surrounds himself with qualified people and in most cases, these people would be experts and more knowledgable than himself in certain areas.  He would not be threatened by their experience, but learn from them every day.  If there were not choices in who was around him, he would be an encourager and find ways for that person to develop their skills and knowledge. 

2.  Everything is a “we”, not a “me” and “them”.  The quarterback didn’t drop the ball, the Offensive Coordinator didn’t call the wrong play, it is we didn’t work hard enough to prepare to make the right call to put our team in the correct situation.  

3.  Coach will always put in more time and effort than anyone on his staff and team. 

4.  Everyone is important and deserves respect.  Coach knows everyone’s name, OK well maybe I help him with that sometimes, but he knows that everyone has an important role from his practice players, trainers, maintenance staff, teachers, parents, and community. His door is always open.

5.  Don’t reinvent what works, Coach looks at other successful football programs and builds off of them.  He coaches old, but not old fashion, I stole that quote from Coach Weaver.

6.  Preparation in all aspects of the game.

7.  Positive attitude against all odds.  Coach never accepts defeat until the buzzer goes off and the referee says “Game over, Coach”.  If you know the history of the Greenwood Bulldogs,  we have had several unbelievable come from behind wins.  Bulldog fans don’t leave early!

8.  Coach’s time is 6 minutes earlier than standard time, he will always be early and never miss an appointment because he values your time more than his own.

9.  Everyday Coach spends time learning something new that helps him either professionally, spiritually, or life in general.  He is dedicated to a higher level of learning.

10.  Weekly, daily, and sometimes hourly, Coach looks at areas that he could improve on to make his program more successful.

Rick Jones for Mayor!  He would still get critiqued every week in the paper, but at least he would be home more……

A Special Bulldog

Standard
 
It was one of our early seasons here at Greenwood and we knew immediately that this group of 2005 Senior boys were special.  There was only 18 of them in the Senior class, including one special ed kid named Brandon. 
 
Brandon loved Greenwood football, he worked hard all year around to be a part of this team, even though he never played.  He did go in for a couple plays in a game where we were winning by 3 or 4 touch downs and just got smoked by the other team.  Of course, his team mates were cheering him on and telling him to get up and try again.  Next play, again he got laid out, so that was about the end of his playing time as he was telling the coaches he was good and didn’t need to go in again, but he still was there working hard in practice and being their biggest fan.  Be a better story if I could tell you that he ran the ball in for a touch down, but he was still as happy as could be with just being a part of the team.
 
His mother is as crazy as they come and fits the stereotypical Arkansan from the backwoods.  This group of seniors have gone on to become Razorback football player, doctor, business men, entrepreneurs, family men, and have mostly moved away. 
 
Brandon went to work at a local company.  He knew something was wrong so drove himself to the ER about 4 weeks ago.  They diagnosed him with stage 4 testicular cancer and was in a coma within a week and never came out of it.  By accident, our principal was at the hospital’s ICU and saw his mother there and this is how we found out.  He passed away quietly at the hospital with just his mother at his side and a few visitors in and out like Coach and the Principal. 
 
Coach brought his mother his jersey for him to wear and a football helmet signed by all the current players which she placed it in the casket with him.  She wanted some football players to be pallbearers so Coach called a couple of the his Senior classmates to see if they might be able to travel in for the Friday afternoon service.  15 of his 17 classmates from the 2005 football team showed up.
 
His mother wanted Brandon to be buried in the cemetery closest to the football field.  You will find his plot in the very corner squeezed in facing the football field covered with flowers.  I imagine he has a big smile on his face wearing his Bulldog jersey with one hand on his helmet.  Bulldog pride never dies……