Please see a letter to all parents from Coach Hackbarth below.
If your student-athlete is planning on participating in football, you will need to complete AHSAA eligibility requirements via DragonFly Max. Also, when completing DragonFly Max, do not click ‘My School Will Complete This Requirement’. If your student-athlete is in 6th grade, you will select 7th Grade Football and if your student-athlete is in 7th grade, you will select 8th Grade Football. Please contact Jay McGaughy, Football AD, if you have any questions.
- Operations Fee $200 Due August 9th
- Pre-game Meal $75 Due August 16th
- Booster Club $125 Due August 16th
Look at a stone cutter hammering away at his rock, perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred-and-first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not the last blow that did it, but all that had gone before.
I think that is a fair question in this day and time. We are bombarded in the news by safety concerns and at the same time research shows that mental illness is on the rise. It is truly a different world than the one I grew up experiencing. In addition to the safety concerns over contact sports, research shows that kids more and more are becoming isolated in the confines of social media and technology. Many no longer understand how to be a part of a team or how to fight through adversity. On the other side of the fence we have the issue of professionalism of kids, where they play one sport and one sport only in a way that it becomes a job. Burnout and injury have become an issue, so much so that Dr. James Andrews wrote a book on the subject…” Any Given Monday”. Is it any wonder that new research states that one in four freshman entering college has a mental illness? I think most would agree that our kids need to be connected to something that pushes them physically but that also helps them connect with a team in a way that builds friendships, loyalty, and long term goals for the future.
Again, why football?
Ultimately it is a personal question and it goes all the way back to some of my earliest memories. I grew up following around my two uncles who played through college. I remember the smell of the jersey and equipment as I paraded around the house at five years old. I remember the cool fall days, the excitement around town, and the band playing the fight song. All of it stirred a romance in my heart that still exists to this day.
I ended up playing many sports growing up and played both baseball and basketball through High School. All of them taught me life lessons and all of them helped me learn key principles about life. But football was the one that truly captured my heart. For me it connected 3 key principles about life…Developing winning habits, being a great teammate, learning how to perform under pressure and ultimately how to show up every day and bring my very best. These principles are at the heart of everything I believe in. They are the same principles that got me through some really tough times personally and professionally and they are the same ones that define great teams and great people. They are ultimately the reason I made a career change 2 years ago to begin teaching and coaching.
1) BE A GREAT TEAMMATE: The reality is that every person is part of some type of team…whether that be a family, a community, a country or a world. We all are part of something bigger than ourselves. Learning to embrace that reality and learning to work to fulfill a role in helping that team become better is one of the greatest and hardest lessons in life. There is no greater principle to embrace in football than being a great teammate. Football is structured in a way that selfishness will ultimately destroy a team, whereas unselfishness can propel a team into greatness.
2) WIN THE MOMENT: Life is about moments. It is made up of thousands of them and all of them are important, some more so than others but you really never know which ones are the ones that make the greatest impact. Therefore every moment in life matters, every moment deserves our best. Learning to embrace this principle and win the small victories is what ultimately wins the biggest moments. This principle has become the cornerstone of the University of Alabama’s “process”. “Don’t think about winning the SEC Championship. Don’t think about the national championship. Think about what you needed to do in this drill, on this play, in this moment. That’s the process: Let’s think about what we can do today, the task at hand.” – Nick Saban
3) POUND THE ROCK: Life isn’t fair! Never has been, never will be…The secret to joy and success is learning to find purpose and joy in work. If it’s digging a ditch then you dig the ditch with every purpose and fiber of your being. If it’s going to class then you give your very best to learn and absorb with your full attention and focus. Every moment matters…that’s the lesson of the stonecutter and that’s the lesson of all great success stories. No matter the outcome the objective is to keep at it, every day, every moment, no matter what. The focus can never be the rock splitting, but rather in the joy and persistence of swinging the hammer.
These are the principles that will build the foundation of Oak Mountain Football. But they are also principles that will help guide our players in all sports and ultimately to be great people who one day will work to influence their families, their community and our world.