Let’s just get it out right now and move on with things.

If you can’t get past this one and move onto more important challenges and situations, then you will wind up spinning your wheels.

Bruce Wallace

You know you will have to admit it – so just do so and move forward.

It’s probably a one time thing, anyway.

So – OK – I’ll admit it: This is one thing, one time a football coach got it right.

Oh, sure – you know. I would have gone for it on fourth down when the coach tried to kick a field goal. I would have put a different player on their speedy receiver instead of the coach having him commit to a blitz. I would have called the old hook-and-ladder trick play on 3rd-and-17 from our own 12-yard line when the coach just ran a draw play in order to punt the ball away.

Like you, I’m a huge second-guesser – and yet the coach’s opinion is the only one that counts when it comes to calling plays.

However, in July our Eagles football coach hit the nail on the head.

“I’m concerned about the late start because these kids won’t have a structured day until after Labor Day,” Tracy said. “Teenagers need that structure.”

I somewhat scoffed at the time, but couldn’t wait to see what happened. Last week, the quantitative analysis was delivered: The football coach knows kids and he knows what he’s talking about.

The SoBoCo Eagles soccer, softball and football teams lost games last week – against good opponents – in which they should have given a much better accounting of themselves.

Let me say right now that I’m not in favor of bashing high school teams – from any school. Maybe Hallsville, but I rarely take the opportunity to blast most kids competing at the high school level. While many parents and fans will moan after a loss that the Eagles should have won, I tend more often to remind them that the other team on the field/court might have had something to do with our team’s inability to score enough to win the game.

I don’t think that was the case last week.

The evidence is abundant:

Soccer Eagles go to play rival MMA on Tuesday. After a few days of what coach Chris Miller said were “dragging” practices, the Eagles were tied 1-1 before losing in penalty kicks. Miller pointed out a few players who did some good things, but his overall assessment of his team could be summed up in four words: “We had no energy.”

The softball team traveled to Hickman on Thursday and lost 4-0 in a game that they seemed totally indifferent about. The Eagles made a few silly errors early on, handing the Kewpies a pair of runs, but played good defense the rest of the game. Except that, by then the Kewps knew they had the lead, they just had to keep the Eagles from mounting a rally. That was not difficult as SoBoCo seemed be moving in slow-motion on offense.

The football Eagles went to Eldon on Friday and found themselves down a couple of touchdowns very quickly and never got back into the game, losing 29-7.

I sat next to a parent for a part of Thursday’s softball game and mentioned that I didn’t think the Eagles were playing their best softball. Very gently, I mentioned that fact.

She nearly laughed out loud at me.

“YOU THINK SO?” she exclaimed mockingly. I noted that I could not figure out teen athletes – or teenagers, for that matter.

“I think they just need to get back in school,” the parent said simply.

The light bulb went off over my head. After the game, I called Coach Tracy.

“Coach, you might be walking into a trap at Eldon,” I noted in the conversation.

The coach let me know, under no uncertain terms, that his team had not had a good week of practice.

Then he went to Eldon and saw his prediction come true right before his very eyes.

Of course, one game does not make a season. Nearly every team has an off night. The Fatima Comets volleyball coach, who’s team beat the Eagles in two straight games on Monday said the Eagles played quite well in the first game, “and we played like it was a Monday,” the coach noted.

You might think that high school student-athletes staying home all day and getting their rest might be more beneficial than being at school. This works for professional athletes, right?

But the teenager, as most of us have painfully learned, is a different animal than any other. No doubt last week, teams from Eldon, MMA and Hickman played well. But I also have no doubt our players could benefit from a good night’s sleep, a day in school and then out to practice or a game. Or, like coach Tracy said, “A normal schedule.”