Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The New Era! 3/16/10

What a week this is going to be! March Madness, College Basketball brackets, St. Patrick’s Day, Guinness Beer and oh yes the start of La Tech spring football. I can smell the pigskin in the air! Smells like fine wine to me! I am not into college basketball like I should be, but when March Madness hits I am on point! I am going to step out on to some of the smaller branches with my prediction, but my big gut tells me to pick West Virginia. Ok I did it and now I hope these branches can hold me until the end. I titled this post the New Era, because I think it is the beginning on some great things at La Tech with the football program. Coach Dooley is gone and Coach Dykes is in place. I see Sunny days ahead. I wish Coach Dooley and Coach Russell the best of luck at Tennessee. They brought Matt to La Tech and we are very grateful for that! Let the New Era begin! I ended the season with this quote and I will begin the season with this quote as it is the belief that Matt and I live by! “Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson The intent of this first blog of 2010 is to shed some light on the happenings with Matt from the last game until the beginning of spring football. Some of it is pretty funny! A quick side note before I continue. Since Matt's last game in December up until today, Matt has added 20lbs to his body. He has taken his weights and eating right to new heights and Damon needs a round of applause for pushing Matt. Can I get a Woo Hoo? All kidding aside, Matt is very focused and driven and will be in prime shape when the season starts. In mid December Matt traveled down to Miami to hook up with the rest of the family for a 50th Wedding Anniversary cruise for his grandparents to the Eastern Caribbean. Growing up Matt did not have the opportunity to travel very much so this would be quite an experience for him, plus he had a great travel agent work with him. Matt hit up Samana, St. Thomas, Tortola and the Bahamas! From the dance floor to the togas to the casino, Matt had an awesome time and had more food opportunities then he knew what to do with. I have to tell one quick funny on Matt. One of the nights on the cruise there was a White Hot Party and you were supposed to wear all white to this dance party, so Matt took his sheets from his bed and made a toga! Toga man danced all night long! It was good for Matt to wind down and then start refocusing for next quarter and next season. Christmas & New Years flew by and before we knew it Matt was back on campus Jan 2nd. Jan 4th weights at 6:15AM and after two days it was very hard to walk. The stair climbing is going to be tough for the next few days! Matt had seen snow in pictures, but now he was getting to experience it in Ruston. He was short on time one morning and did not have time to defrost his window and drove to the field house for workouts with his window frozen and window down so he could see the road. His water bottle that was in his car was frozen solid. Now that is cold! Matt hung out with Josh Scobee in the middle of January. They went to the driving range and hit some golf balls and then they hooked up at the basketball game the next night. Matt said it was so cool that Josh came to his apartment and picked him up and they got to talk about football and life. I have not met Josh yet, but Matt said he is so down to earth and feels at ease when he is with him. They talked about working out some after the spring game. Matt traveled back to Dallas in early February to hook up with Chris Boniol for a 3 hour kicking session. Coach Dooley had Matt making so many changes to his kickoff approach that he was in need of some step refinement and no one knows Matt better than Chris. After the first hour Matt was back in sequence and they developed two different approaches and step patterns. These approaches can be changed up depending on what side of the field the coaches want the ball kicked to. Matt was stoked as he was back to kicking with great hang time and between the five and the goal. For early spring this is good and Chris was very excited as to where Matt was at this early in the year! Matt had his steps back and his mental toughness and the desire to perfect his craft will keep Matt focused on the teams goals as well as his personal goals. As he adds more weight his kickoffs will continue to get deeper. I have a few more funnies from February. Jordan Mills, Rufus, IK and four others borrowed Matt's car to for all of them to go get their hair cut. I can just imagine seven big guys getting in Matt's car with some sitting on someone’s lap. I wish I had a picture of that. The other was when Matt was eating sushi on campus and IK and Rufus saw Matt and they wanted to know what the green stuff was and Matt said t was guacamole. They both tried it and were on fire as they just tried wasabi. Matt said they were trying to wipe off their tongues. Matt said it was so funny! All was good as they all had a good laugh. Matt has been kicking on Mondays and Wednesdays in February. His field goals have been spot on and his kickoffs have been greatly improved now that Chris has his steps back in the right pattern. Matt has met with Coach Dykes several times and they will have a different scheme that will allow Matt to kickoff instead of playing darts! Can you imagine playing darts with a football and your leg all of the time? It just does not work. Matt likes Coach Dykes a lot and said he is real down to earth, approachable and easy to talk to. Matt did get to come home for a few days in mid February. It was great to have him home for a few days even though his home will be in Dallas as soon as our home sells. To show you how Matt functions, while he was at home he contacted the kicker for the high school team he played for and spent 2 plus hours working with him on his kicking game. That is a proud dad moment for me as an eighteen year old has the mindset to give back and help his high school team! Matt returned to La Tech and continued to hit the weights, excel in class and kick! Matt's overall GPA after the winter quarter was a 3.625 and we were super stoked. Matt did not come home for his quarter break. Instead he made his way down to visit his grandparents in The Villages in Florida. He flew out of the Monroe airport and Coach Dykes was on his same flight to Dallas before they caught their flights to their final destinations. They got to talk about football and family. Matt said the conversation was awesome. He has been working on his golf game and was looking forward to playing some golf with his grandparents. He played three rounds and was happy with his results for only playing golf for less than a year. Matt got to spend a couple days in Tampa visiting with my brother and his cousin Brycen before heading back to The Villages for another round of golf and a birthday party with about 26 guests. Must be nice to have a birthday party and everyone watching your 2009 highlight video while they serve you cake! Matt shot 98 on his last round and finally broke 100! I know he had a great time and what an experience it must have been to get to hang with grandparents for a few days and meet some great people who are all now new La Tech fans! Now that Matt is back in Ruston his focus is on school, weights, running, and kicking. Matt is super excited about the new coaching staff and the 2010 season. Matt has a great relationship with Coach Tommerdahl and is looking forward to working with him this year. Even though Coach Tommerdahl was the special teams coach last year, Coach Dooley called all of the shots in the kicking game. Spring practice starts tomorrow and he is in prime shape physically and mentally! As a kicker you cannot peak too early and kick your leg out before the season starts. I hope you all are as ready for this New Era as I am. I look forward to meeting as many of you as I can at the spring game, but I am looking super forward to meeting Mrs. Cox! She has been so kind to us and she has provided me some awesome recipes to cook. I love to cook and learn new food things! I can't wait for the spring game and the new offensive scheme! My business has been off this year, but I want to thank my mentors for keeping me focused on the long term goals and encouraging me to work even harder. Matt & Tyler thanks for being my rock and my hope! I can't wait for the new season to start so I can share my passion of college football through his eyes! I will write during the spring session and then pick back up starting with summer workouts. I appreciate all of those who are following my journey. I write from my heart and what my feelings are at that moment. May your springtime be filled with Sunny Smiles, Sandy Dreams and Travel your Way! I smell summer vacations! Until our paths cross again, have a blessed Spring! College Football Dad!