Coaching any sport is definitely no bed of roses.
Coaching football can be downright taxing. There are long hours, and not a lot of extra pay. There are many constituencies to please.
Coaches need to be in the good graces of their players; fellow coaches, school administrators, alumni and fans. Everyone wants to take their pot-shots from time to time.
You can hear the critics in the stands almost all the time.
Earlier this year, I used the pulpit of Baer Facts to tell you that if I currently had a son playing high school football, I’d want it to be with Gus Frerotte, John Burroughs; Josh Smith of MICDS or Mike Tarpey at Ladue. Nothing has changed my mind on that.
Two of the aforementioned have guided their teen stars into the 2011 football championships; Missouri’s prestigious Show-Me Bowl.
By no coincident have the MICDS Rams or Burroughs Bombers gotten to the championships. The two have a combined win/loss record of 27-1. In fact, the only loss was by Burroughs to MICDS on a very hot day in September.
Long-time rivalries are never forgotten.
Saturday, Josh Smith put on a modern day coaching clinic that would have had innovators like the late Don Coryell and Mike Martz grinning from ear to ear.
Rule one, football is a very long, arduous season and coaches need to make it fun for their charges.
Saturday, MICDS ran Farmington silly with a host of plays that left defenders grasping for air.
Case in point, burly Michael Scherer, bound to Mizzou was supposed to take a direct snap out of the Wildcat formation. When he snuck under center for a quick snap, hardly any Black Knight players were ready to defend. The Rams ran that twice successfully.
In a crucial third down situation, seconds before the end of the first quarter, MICDS coaches called time out, forcing Farmington to run a critical play into a gale force wind. Other coaches would not have figured that out so quickly. The Rams ran their made-for-fun hook and ladder play to perfection; and the creme de creme was the option pass Scherer to Jack Howell for a critical score in the third quarter. On another occasion in another game, the successful toss was Scherer to quarterback Thomas Militello in the end zone.
See, even quarterbacks with soft hands can catch TDs. Josh Smith knows that.
Bill Hester, senior writer tells me Frerotte is pulling out the stops for the Bombers these days. He’s milked senior quarterback Davey Holmes for all he’s worth, molding him into a fine, skilled passer. He’s designed a none-stop offense behind the running of track star Ezekiel Elliott. He’s turned nifty receiver Nathan Adams into a high school version of Mizzou’s T.J. Moe.
Frerotte’s developed Bear Kaminer, Sam Hefler and Christian Bledsoe into as good a trio of linebackers you will find at any level. Frerotte, recent of the National Football League has turned John Burroughs football in a season-long winning proposition. Bomber fans and alumni are loving a second trip to the Jones Dome in two years.
Don’t get me wrong, there are lots of good football coaches at many high schools in the St. Louis region. But Josh Smith and Gus Frerotte have made 2011 something very special and these teams are getting their just rewards. They stand out above the rest.
Cheer, cheer for the Bombers and the Rams in the Dome this Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Coaches, thanks for an exhilarating season.