Hey Coach, what do you love most about opening week?

Their responses vary, but area coaches are all excited for a new year

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Stephenville head coach Greg Winder is a semifinalist for the 1st Down Club of D/FW Coach of the Year award. || Photo by NATE BURAL

“You think everyone wants to open at home, and I know this is going to sound crazy, but in the college game, when you’ve just been practicing and practicing and having meetings and it just gets to where it seems like you’ve spent endless hours around the field house, I love a good road opener. It’s kind of nice, regardless how you’re traveling, to get on that bus or that airplane and just relaxant collect yourself after a really busy stretch in the preseason. That time traveling is our time to relax and be with our football family. We watch movies together, eat together and stay together. It’s kind of the quiet before the storm.”
-Todd Whitten, Tarleton State

“For me, the best part is just gonna be finally getting to a game and then getting one behind us. It’s been kind of a long time coming. This really kind of started seven or eight months ago with the hiring process, then transiting with some of our coaches relocating, of course, to Hico. Now we get to put all the craziness that comes with moving to a new place aside and just play football for 2-3 hours, and that’s what we all love, is to play and coach football. It’s my 19th year in this business and I still get those butterflies before the season opener. It’s exciting to be a part of as a player, but I’m telling you, it’s exciting to be a part of as a coach, too.”
-Randy Thornton, Hico


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“Well, it’s just the anticipation of working hard all summer in the weight room watching kids grow and develop and move from boys to young men and then seeing how far they’ve really come when you get them out there in a real game the first week.”
-David Yeager, De Leon

“What I love is all the electricity in the air. The kids are all excited and starting Thursday you really start to feel the anticipation really amp up and you have a whole school and a whole community full of folks ready to come together and see you perform for real for the first time. They all want to know what you’ve got, and it’s your opportunity to leave a good first impression as a tea.”
Greg Winder, Stephenville

“The opening of football season is one of the best times of the year, especially in a community like Dublin that is so supportive of our kids and our schools. It’s a reunion, sort of. You know there are people up in those stands who haven’t spoken since last season, but they see each other every Friday night during football season. And on the first Friday, man, everyone is zero and zero and nobody has a leg up on anybody else. It’s that one night of the season when everybody in the state has an identical record and every player, coach and fan has that enthusiasm, that belief that this is going to be their year. It builds up all through two-a-days, then you get school started and you can feel it in the hallways. By the time you get off the bus at the stadium and you walk out there underneath those Friday night lights, the hairs on the back of your neck are standing straight up because of all the electricity in the air. You gotta love it.”
-Bob Cervetto, Dublin


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