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Parent Meeting: Thursday April 28, 5:30 OMMS Cafeteria
Make-up Meeting: Monday, May 2, 5:30 OMMS Cafeteria
Testing: May 4-5, 3:15 – 5:00
Spring Camp May 9-13, 3:15 – 5:00
Dragonfly (https://www.dragonflymax.com/) must be completed 100% for 2022-2023 before any player is allowed to participate!!
IMPORTANT!!!If your student-athlete is planning on participating in football, you will need to complete AHSAA eligibility requirements via DragonFly Max https://www.dragonflymax.com/. It must be 100% for 2022-23 on DragonFly Max before being allowed to participate in any practice, spring, summer or fall. 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 Either Coach Hackbarth (email@example.com) or Coach Renfro (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any questions.
Good Morning! I wanted to address a few questions regarding Football for 2022. The High School has been proactive in putting together some great opportunities for the Middle School to participate. I want to answer some of the questions that have been asked, as well as clarify some of the details regarding off season training.
First and foremost…The High School has provided us with an opportunity to utilize Godspeed and their trainers for off-season and summer training. This is a great opportunity for our athletes! Godspeed is one of the best in the business and understands the dynamic differences between athletes of different ages and maturity levels. All workouts will be age appropriate and will be at introductory levels. Here is a link to Godspeed’s website. https://godspeed.org/about/
I was asked this morning by a player if the middle school will now be practicing with the high school. No…nothing has changed organizationally from the past except for the fact that we are getting access to training and the coaches will be working closer with the high school coaches.
- What are details on off-season program? This is not a mandatory program. This is an extra training opportunity supplied by the high school. There is not a fee associated for participating.
- They will leave the school at 2:30, a bus will be there to pick them up. Once they arrive Coach Crane will meet with them and then will take them up and do on the field footwork first. Once the Varsity players are finished then they will transition into the weightroom. Once there they should be finished at 4:30.
- Requirements are a completed dragonfly account as well as an information sheet. Please see me or Coach Wells for more information.
- Is this the football signup? Not officially…This program is for current 7th and 8th graders that have played football and those that did not play but are interested in playing next year (2022 season). This program will be 2 days a week (Tuesday and Thursday) and intended for those not playing another sport.
- Are we having spring practice? The middle school will have spring practice (May 2-13). Signups will open up first of March. The parent meeting is tentatively scheduled for April 12 @ 6:00 – here at the Middle School cafeteria.
- What are the details on the Summer Program? Many parents have looked to Godspeed and other trainers for workouts during the month of June. We want all of our athletes to have the availability to do that with their other teammates. For those that are planning summer vacations, (so that they do not interfere with summer practice)…the best time would be the first 3 weeks of June. We will be discussing this further in the parent meeting in April.
Please do not hesitate to reach out by email or phone.
Just when you think all is well…Ok so after several discussions due to the unforeseen circumstances as well as conflicts…we are going to trim Spring down to one week…that will be next week starting Monday 10 – Friday 14. The parent meeting will be Monday after practice starting at 5:30. I apologize for all the confusion but I guess that’s just the world we live in these days! I copied the email from yesterday below as some did not receive. Again do not hesitate to reach out with any questions….
Good Evening…well this day has seemed like it wasn’t ever going to materialize. I dare say we have had some challenges but it looks like we are going to have two of the largest classes we’ve had in over 5 years. We contemplated foregoing the spring and taking advantage of the extra week in the fall but I felt it was absolutely necessary given the tornado and the change in leadership at the High School.
I will elaborate in further detail at the parent meeting but wanted to touch on a few points that might need to be addressed before the meeting.
- TEAMSNAP: For those of you who are not familiar with teamsnap…this is an app/contact management software that we have had great success with in the past. It allows us to communicate in multiple mediums (text, chat and email). It is also a useful tool for parents wanting to communicate with each other on carpool etc. It is free for everyone so be sure to sign-up/login. Also personalize with names of pertinent guardians with numbers etc. to ensure we are always able to be in contact.
- EQUIPMENT: Due to larger numbers and with a limited time, we are going to just be in shorts, shirts and cleats for the duration of spring. We will be ordering additional gear and for what we want to accomplish this spring definitely feel it’s not necessary over these next 10 days.
- PRACTICE SCHEDULE: It will be posted on teamsnap along with pertinent information for each day, time etc. There also is a link to indicate whether or not your student will be attending. Please take advantage of this…as we will be taking role each day and would like notification if they will or will not be present.
- FEES: There will be no fees this spring. We will elaborate on the fall fees at the meeting.
- PLAYER SAFETY: This is priority number 1!! We can ensure that our instruction is focused on proper and effective techniques that are player safety driven. We also are evaluating all equipment to ensure it meets the highest level of safety standards.
The parent meeting will be in the football stands at the middle school at 5:30. If you cannot have a parent/guardian attend please let me know via the attendance schedule. This will save time on identifying those that were not in attendance so that we can relay the appropriate information.
We are excited about this season and the direction of our program. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with any questions or concerns. GOOM!
Please see a letter to all parents from Coach Hackbarth (email@example.com) below.
Dragonfly (https://www.dragonflymax.com/) must be completed 100% for 2021-2022 before any player is allowed to participate!!
Anyone interested must signup below….
IMPORTANT!!!If your student-athlete is planning on participating in football, you will need to complete AHSAA eligibility requirements via DragonFly Max https://www.dragonflymax.com/. It must be 100% for 2021-2022 on DragonFly Max before being allowed to participate in any practice, spring, summer or fall. 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 Either Coach Hackbarth (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Coach Renfro (email@example.com) if you have any questions.
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.
I wrote the following a couple of years ago after our HS lost to Hoover. I believe this is the path to greatness for our program. Hopefully it resonates with you as I believe it is the path to greatness in anything we do.
September 14, 2019
“When nothing seems to help, I go and look at a stonecutter 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 that blow that did it, but all that had gone before.” – Jacob Riis
I have had some truly life-changing moments in a halftime locker room. One that I often go back to is when I was a sophomore in high school, that moment changed the way I viewed the game of football. I realized…that as long as we are breathing we are going to face difficulty and opposition, that’s just life and we can respond by shrinking back or pushing forward.
Another moment happened last night as I was following the high school team out of the locker room at halftime. Painted on the wall is the slogan “Pound the Rock” with the words…”Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might…” Ecclesiastes 9:10 I’ve seen this many times and ultimately know it’s the slogan of our football program but it wasn’t until that moment last night that the significance of it really hit me.
I understand the philosophy…Yet last night being down 41-7, seeing all our players file out of that locker room and touch that wall revealed the true essence of this philosphy. It’s not just an Oak Mountain thing or a San Antonio Spurs thing or an Alabama Football thing. Its fundamental to every single one of us. It is an acceptance that my joy is tied to my willingness to “pound the rock”. My joy is tied to the blow I make every single day, rather than the IMMEDIATE outcome.
I thought about this further as the second half played on…as the clock ticked down and the outcome never really changed. I thought about this further as I walked to my car and thought…”When is this ever going to change?” I thought about this further as I watched people file out of a stadium with another loss to a “successful” program. The question I asked myself was “Am I pounding the rock? Am I working with all my might to do what I can do? Do I believe that my swing of the hammer matters? Do I find my purpose and joy in swinging that hammer?” There are moments yes…but unfortunately it’s not consistent enough. Unfortunately I get discouraged at times, I let up, I fail to swing because it just sometimes feels pointless….and there it is, the enemy to success, the enemy to change.
It was then that I realized the beauty and power of this simple slogan. What would happen if everyone truly resolved to “pound the rock”. What would happen if every student, every parent, every teacher saw their actions, their swing of the hammer as vital to the ultimate success of our programs and our school. It would mean thousands of swings of the hammer, it would mean a resolve of a community to crack this boulder that stands in our way. It would mean that every single blow mattered and would be seen as vital. Every dollar, every cheer, every drop of sweat and effort, every lesson, every email, every meeting, every action could be another blow and would be a step closer to greatness.
The thing is… this is not ultimately about football or championships, it’s about life and the effect these blows of the hammer have on our own hearts but also in the lives of all those that come after us. It’s about being part of an Epic story and being part of a community that could really change. Not because of finances or a particular coach or a player but because every person was willing to swing their hammer, do their part and as a result, change our stars.
I believe that we can be a community that celebrates every victory…no matter the sport, the contest, the activity. Where ultimately success is not measured on a field or on a test or in a contest but rather in the swinging of the hammer…..POUND THE ROCK!