Friday nights are a difficult period of time to describe for a football coach. There are so many emotions that can be felt. It is a period of time that means so many things; a week of hard work preparing, a year of planning, a senior's final weeks before this time in his life is gone.
The breaks of the game, the emotional swings, the bounce of the ball can be the difference in success or failure at the end of the night. When things don’t go as you had hoped it is a tired drive home; you have the support of family, but the critique of the ones you love, who have experienced so many of these Friday nights with you.
The promise that you will spend the day with them on Saturday comes with the realization that sleep is a challenge as you relive what had transpired just hours before. Driving in to just start game clean up as your family sleeps you search for what you could have done, what could have been different.
On Saturday morning, a coach starts the laundry process. Every soiled jersey and everything your team wore must be sorted and prepared for the next game. At this time you think about every member of the team, you realize what each player gave the night before. You think about the freshman lineman with his grass stains and dirt ground in to his pants and you know that he had clawed and fought to the best of his ability. You remember the sweat of a senior who gave his all. You fold the clean jersey of a player who has worked so hard to understand that his role is not to be on the field, but to provide support. You feel their dreams, their frustration. You understand that your time together is precious and quickly dwindling. You hope and pray that they will wake up this morning and understand that the journey is what we hope to teach and that we have to just keep working.