Please see a letter to all parents from Coach Hackbarth (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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 (email@example.com) or Coach Renfro (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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!