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Candy Westbrook: How can we help our son with recruitment?
Helmet Kisses

Dear Readers,

Stop the pass! Holding. Offsides. False start. Forgive this Football Mama, please.

In my last column, I recommended the book, “Never Shut Up” by Marcellus Wiley. Do not buy this book. There should be no excuse for this, and sadly, I did put this rotten game plan together. I usually try to read books before suggesting them, but in my rush to get information to the broken-ankle family, I goofed. I hadn’t quite started reading said book before I suggested it in print. Suggested it in the column, no less, for every fan to see. Oh, now that’s what I call, backfield in motion. I know, an old school penalty. Still, a penalty I regret. Go ahead, move the chains back.  

 In an effort to suggest a new book — instead of going to the oldies and based on the reviews I’d read — I ordered this 2018 release. I try to keep up with the latest football or sports books. But — big but here — as I started to read it last week, I was so disappointed to see the expletives that really aren’t necessary to get a point across. I was bummed that the author used such vile language, not just once in a while, but all the while. Mostly every paragraph. Maybe even every sentence. I would never recommend such a book, even though I most certainly did in that column. But now, I reserve the right to intentionally ground it. I’ll take the lost yardage.  

As the “heart behind the gridiron,” I try very hard not only to give the best advice possible, but also to endorse reading material and/or films that bring home quality messages, which contain gripping stories, or hold locker room keys of encouragement, told in a family-friendly way.   

Full disclosure: I do not have wings attached to my back or a halo encircling my head. I’ve been known to let those tainted varmints scoot off my tongue a time or two myself. Tisk, tisk, I might be on the naughty list. However, I try very hard not to write such vulgar language in print. If a body has to write poison-polluted language every now and then, I give it a pass. To pen that nasty trash in every paragraph … no, no, no. I have to ask myself, are these folks really writers or authors if they have to use such cheap, tasteless chatter that often? 

Bottom line: anything from Tony Dungy “Uncommon, Finding Your Path to Significance” would be my first choice for most anyone. Then again, “Quiet Strength” was fantastic. I tend to tip toward the true triumphal stories, and not just in football. Most anything inspirational or encouraging is generally going to grip my brain and retain my attention. I will say the fiction book by author and former NFL star Tim Green, “Unstoppable,” is on my pile. It’s recommended for middle school through high school, and I’m about to open those pages. I just might become a fast fiction fan of this author. Again, fair warning — haven’t started reading it, yet.

Since we’ve got that game plan in place, please let me know of your favorite football or sports books. I look forward to your suggestions and comments. Hopefully, we won’t have to go behind the field house again to correct my mistakes and make adjustments.  

•    •    •

Dear Football Mom,

We are in the state playoffs, but this is our son’s senior year, and he’s not had any offers from colleges for a scholarship. We’ve talked to the head coach lately, and we both feel he’s not interested in helping with recruitment. We are at our wits end. What should we do?

Dear Reader,

Hang on. And by all means, remain in the present and enjoy this awesome privilege being in the state playoffs. A well-fought honor, no doubt. Lap up this success like a big ol’ dog slurping water out of its bowl. This time right here will evaporate in a heartbeat to a treasured, past memory and you don’t want to miss a thing. You will come to regret it if you look past this moment in time.

For cooperation with your coach on helping your son receive a college scholarship … well, the worst, very worst, thing you can do right now is bug the tar out of him while he’s trying to get his team ready and prepare for this big game. Back off. For the moment, at least.

That said, I have to commend you on your proactive stance and effort to help your son receive a scholarship. Sometimes it takes being there at just the right time and seizing the opportunity in front of your face. I know it doesn’t seem like it, but your son has time. 

His team is going to the state playoffs, what an opportunity right there. There are sure to be tons of college recruiters sitting on both sides of the field. The best thing y’all can do is get your son ready for this game — mentally and physically. If he does that for his team, he’ll impress somebody the night of the game. Film it. 

Oh, and by the way, during his breaks at school this week, instead of hanging out in the halls with that purty little gal that makes his heart go pitter-patter, he should be in the video room scoping out his competition and how he’s going to nail that bad boy’s tail to the ground. Focus. On. What’s. In. Front. Of. You.

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