Prep football coaches trying to stay ahead of the game

sjansen@mercedsunstar.comOctober 16, 2013 

Sports writers Shawn Jansen and Sean Lynch recap the first week of CCC play and look ahead to some big tilts with possible title implications this week in the CCC and TVL. Interviews with Merced QB Tyrone Williams and WR Travante Richard.

MERCED SUN-STAR

— Merced High football coach Rob Scheidt stood outside the Bears' locker room on Friday night shaking hands as parents, players and fans congratulated him after a 48-12 win over Turlock.

As much as he was trying to enjoy the big win, Scheidt's attention was already shifting to this week's game with Buhach Colony.

When did that shift take place?

"Probably the fourth quarter," Scheidt said. "I was already thinking about Buhach. That's bad."

Yasiel Puig celebrates a walk longer than high school coaches celebrate wins.

No other sport compares to football when it comes to the amount of time and energy put in to preparing for a single game. From breaking down video, game planning and practice, coaches spend over 30 hours a week getting their team ready for Friday night.

So when all that preparation time equates to a win how much time do they allow themselves to celebrate it?

"I usually give myself about 10 hours," said Hilmar coach Frank Marques. "When the boys come in the next morning around 9 a.m. we dissect the film. At 10 a.m. we start preparing for the next opponent. I try not to think about the next game until 10 a.m.

"This week was a little different. With a big game against Ripon I was probably already thinking about it at 10 p.m. on Friday."

So Marques gives himself about 10 hours to enjoy a win, but about half of that time is spent sleeping. At least wins should result in some pleasant dreams.

The Hilmar coaches meet for about 8 hours on Saturday and another 4 hours on Sunday. During the week he spends about 4 to 5 hours a day on football.

"I think it's about 30 to 32 hours per week at least," Marques said. "I think that's pretty common. They have us doing this thing called teaching during the day. That pays the bills. I teach five periods per day. Other than that, it's pretty much football.

"My biggest fear is not having our guys prepared as a coach. I would hate to short change the kids. I don't want to go into a game with the kids unprepared because we missed something."

Marques isn't alone.

"Your job as a coach is to put all that time you put in outside of practice and download that information into your players," added Buhach Colony coach Kevin Swartwood said. "You want to get your kids ready to play fast. The only way for them to do that is to play confident. They have to be in the right spots and do the right things."

Swartwood said he's never taken the time to analyze the big discrepancy in the amount of time spent preparing for a game and the time he spends savoring a win.

"I'd probably get depressed if I did," Swartwood said. "I've been doing it for so long that you kind of have the same routine whether you win or lose. You don't feel as good if you lost. Unfortunately, losing hurts worse than winning feels good."

With football taking up so much time, coaches spend a lot of time away from their families during the season.

It's a fact that hit Marquez one night while he walked past one of his daughter's bedroom and saw an empty bed.

"Something wasn't right," said Marquez, who has three daughters and four grandchildren. "We started something after our second daughter got married about 4 years ago. Sunday night is family night. We sit down every Sunday for dinner together. We'll spend 3 or 4 hours together."

The formula seems to work for Marques. He has a 98-27 record and two section titles as the Yellowjackets' head coach.

In fact, Scheidt (114-77), Swartwood (50-35) and Marques have a combined record of 262-139.

Not that they would celebrate it.

"Let's be honest. After winning a game on Friday, you just feel better," Scheidt said. "You're probably easier to live with.

"Sometimes I think I'm missing it a little, but it's the only way I know how to do it."

Shawn Jansen is a Sun-Star reporter. He can be reached at 385-2462 0r sjansen@mercedsunstar.com.

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