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Helmet Kisses: A Dear Football Mom column by Candy A. Westbrook

Dear Football Mom,

Many college recruiters earlier this fall offered our son a scholarship; he went ahead and committed to one. Now he isn’t too sure. They have had a losing streak so far this year, and the assistant who recruited him may not be there when he reports to campus next year. Is it too late to change his mind? Two other colleges still say they want him even though he verbally committed to another program. 

A sticky situation … Before your son blows off his first commitment, sit down and list the pros and cons of his decision. Do some honest soul-searching, and write it down on paper.

Did he commit only to work with this particular coach whose job is now on the line, or did he commit because of the football history and its traditions at this college? I hope he answers no to both. Usually, I would say keep your word, but the recruiting processes are so fluid that sometimes it’s hard to keep up, and changing his mind is not a cardinal sin. Do it for the right reasons though. 

Maybe they are backing off on him and sidewinding. Commit to a college that carries the degree you want to major in. Not because of football, not because of their sports history, and not because your son likes a certain coach. Coaches can be gone in the wink of an eye and honestly, someday for your son, football will be too.


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Dear Football Mom,

Our son’s high school team made it to the region playoffs. Yea! The head coach told us recently at our club meeting NO turkey over the Thanksgiving holiday. He stressed this over and over again. I don’t get it. We won’t play the day after, so why is he being such a hard nose about eating the traditional turkey dinner?

I did a little snooping just to make sure I knew the correct answer. If you do a Google search, it states that the turkey isn’t the reason for the sleepiness — it’s all due to the huge meal and overeating. And that stuffing (pun intended) may be mostly, or partially, a contributing factor. But as this football mom experienced firsthand in both high school and college … that is phooey! Like you, I had never heard of such a thing, until my sons played in a play-off. Then, I realized this to be quite true. Most coaches believe the tryptophan, which is an amino acid that forms the basis of brain chemicals, is the culprit, and indeed does cause drowniness. Some coaches are superstitious about it as well as other quirks. Some are adamant about the training table and are sticklers for pre-game nutrition. Why take unnecessary chances?

 For sports folks participating in competition anywhere near Thanksgiving, I just bet you they lay off the turkey eating and save that dinner for after competition. Your coach wants his players alert, alive, and ready to go hard. No doubt, they will be practicing even if the championship game is a week away and he needs his players at their optimum best. Besides, it is always a good idea to follow the coach’s wishes whether you believe them to be true or not.      

Each question is handled with discretion and privacy. Identity of persons asking questions will not be shared. All information is strictly confidential. 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