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Dear Football mom: How does my son lead his team?
Helmet Kisses

Dear Football Mom

There is a chance we could be in the state playoffs for the first time in school history. My son is one of the senior captains. Several football players on our team are more basketball players than football players and basketball is their chosen sport. They are great athletics, valuable to our football team and have contributed enormously to our winning season. Basketball practice has already started at our school. Our son is sensing an unrest or an uneasiness with these players wanting to get done with football to move on to basketball. That would hurt our chances for state. How does he lead his team and encourage these players who are itching to get on with basketball to hang in through the playoffs?

Dear Reader,

Wow. Great question. How cool is that, to line up in football for a chance to birth a state championship? Congratulations to your son, his team and his high school on a winning season.

So, what we have here are a few sweet football fellas who have ants in their pants to quit football and hook up with basketball. Sounds like a girlfriend dumping the boyfriend to go with another guy. We call this fickle, bubble-headed or wobbly. This is tough because if you can’t be all in, especially playing football, you really should be all out.

To be clear, I am a fan of basketball too. So please keep the hate mail to a minimum. Not putting basketball down at tall. Just promoting sticking with what a body started, committed to, and staying consistent, is all. Some might call it being a man of your word. Others, reliable.

Your son may have to have one of them heart-to-heart talks with the basketball players. Either they want to make football history for the school … or they don’t. It really is that simple. What these boys need is fire in the belly, not fire ants in their pants.

I imagine coach is well aware of this tiny infraction and will do all he can to bring any breach to a successful close one way or the other. But your son and his teammates hold a lot of weight on the team. They may be the only ones who really know what buttons to push to help them fellas choose the higher calling. After all, one day this entire team will graduate, maybe graduate college, and get on with their lives. Do they really want to go down in history as quitters, when they can choose to be part of a team that broke school records? Surely not.

No doubt, a lot of hard work went into this team since last summer, last season and possibly beyond that. Countless hours of workouts, practice, teamwork and the coaches strategic game plans. Winning seasons don’t just happen. Do the basketballers really want to chunk it all now? 

 Honestly, I haven’t a clue on how to help, but your son with his crew will figure out how to spike the ball and stop the clock. What it comes to for them basketball boys, will they seize the day and take the challenge out front. Basketball isn’t dribbling away — it will still be there once football ends. 

This possible high school state championship is but a moment in time, a once in a lifetime opportunity. He may remind them just how special and rare championship teams are. The chance of participating on any other sports-related championship team becomes a roll of the dice. It can come down to now or never.

Remember, what you do today will determine how well your tomorrow shines. 

•    •    •

Dear Football Mom,

When your own team boos your son, how do you respond to that? My son is a good player. But in the region playoffs, minutes before the fourth quarter ended, he dropped the ball. Yes, fumbled it on the 12-yard line. Then it was picked up by the other team and they ran for a touchdown. Time was up. The game was over. We lost.

Dear Reader,

What I can tell you is this, the “boos” were probably for the other team picking it up and running all the way for a touchdown. This does happen and the sting of it lasts for a while. The booing can even last for what seems like an eternity, and even our sons’ names or numbers are chanted out — and not in a good way. The mudslinging can get downright nasty.

 Sometimes, like it or not, our sons may deserve it. Most football players at every level blows-it now and then. Heck, I’ve yelled at my own sons before and I’ve blown it myself a time or two. But I know, it’s tough sitting in the stands hearing the chatter. Still, it’s how we respond that helps us keep our cool. 

Pluck the feathers out from under your skin — you are not a chicken. Football Moms … we have to grow some Teflon skin and wipe it off. Usually, some good ole fashion grit will do just fine for that. 

Each question is handled with discretion and privacy. Identity of persons asking questions will not be shared. Questions are not limited to Forsyth County and encompass surrounding areas, including other states. As “The Heart Behind the Gridiron,” we try to answer a variety of questions and scenarios surrounding the game. Answers are opinion-based. We are not responsible for results. All questions should be submitted by email to