Well this has been bouncing around in my head last week while hand was out of commission. One of the hot stories last week was about the Aledo High School’s (Aledo, TX) 91-0 blow out of Western Hills High School (Ft. Worth, TX). An unnamed parent of a Western Hills football player filed a formal bullying complaint against Aledo’s coach Tim Buchanan. It seems that the unnamed parent felt Buchanan was picking on his son because of the score. However the parent didn’t blame the Aledo players just the coach. This wasn’t a case of the coach intentionally running up score. Aledo is just that good. So far this year Aledo is 8-0. Their lowest scoring game was 44-3 against Highland Park (Dallas, TX). 4A powerhouse Stephenville  only manged to score 14 points against Aledo.  Buchanan begin pulling starters in the 1st quarter and from the 3rd quarter on didn’t stop the clock.  Oh, of course Buchanan was cleared of bullying.

I was impressed by the statements of Western Hills Coach John Naylor

“I think the game was handled fine,” Naylor said. “They’re No. 1 for a reason, and I know coach Buchanan. We’re fighting a real uphill battle right now.” …“We just ran into a buzzsaw, you know,” Naylor said. “[Aledo] just plays hard. And they’re good sports, and they don’t talk at all. They get after it, and that’s the way football is supposed to be played in Texas.”

Obviously Naylor didn’t agree with the unnamed parent. Naylor also understands that this is Texas  high school football not YMCA soccer. The University Interscholastic League (UIL) only has a mercy rule for 6-man football.  Unlike other states that follow the National Federation of State High School Associations rules UIL follows NCAA rules.

I would like to respond to the unnamed parent’s claim about the game. It seems the poor parent needed direction as to how to handle the situation.

“We all witnessed bullying firsthand, it is not a pretty sight,” the complaint reads according to MyFoxDFW.com. “I did not know what to say on the ride home to explain the behavior of the Aledo coaches for not easing up when the game was in hand.”

Team sports like football can provide many opportunities to teach teens life lessons. Maybe instead of whining about the game the parent should have used it as a chance to teach a few life lessons. Here are a few

  1. Sometimes in life you get out played. Maybe the other person or team was more talented, better prepared or you just had an off day. Pick yourself up and move-on. Use the experience as a way to figure out how you can improve. Maybe you need to work harder, spend more time or improve your skills.
  2. Life is more like Texas football than little kid soccer. There isn’t always a mercy rule and not everyone gets a trophy.  Sometimes you will get knocked down in life and how you handle adversity speaks a lot about your character. If you did your best then hold your head up and try again tomorrow.
  3. I am reminded of a line from Emily Dickinson poem I learned in high school. “Life is counted sweetest by those who ne’re succeed to comprehend the nectar requires the sorest need.” Many times our failures help us appreciate victories.

Oh and one more piece of advice for the unnamed father. Your kid is playing high school football in Texas. Texas is a football crazy state. There is even 6-man for schools that are too small to play 11 man ball. Dave Campbell’s Texas Football  magazine covers just Texas football (every team from prep school to pro). So maybe you need to toughen up or find another sport for your son. According to Dave Campbell 13 schools have had worse losses. Grandview holds the record for the most points scored against them. In 1969, Valley Mills scored103 and Clifton scored 99.

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