Well, it was wet and they were dirty, but it was all smiles for the Comanche Indians last Friday night in Brady, where they rolled over the Bulldogs by a score of 25-7, a win that allows the Indians to face Breckenridge this week with a solid 3-1 record behind them.
With Brady in the rearview mirror, the Indians prepare for a very big Friday night this week with both Homecoming and the 2013 district opener against the Buckaroos happening right here in Indian Stadium. Here at United we decided it was time once again to sit down with Coach Stephen Hermesmeyer. Of course, our question was the same one we always ask: Tell us where we’ve been, where we are, and where we are headed.
Hermesmeyer didn’t disappoint us because his answers never change.
“We don’t focus a lot on records and wins and losses; we focus on progress and the kind of kids we’re producing. Obviously, I’ve told the kids from the first day I was here that if they do things right in the classroom, on the field, act a certain way, behave a certain way, the results will be what they want them to be.
“We’ve made a lot of progress from a year ago, and a lot of that just has to do with the kids buying into what we’re doing. They’ve bought into our system, and they understand a lot better now what we’re trying to accomplish offensively, defensively, and special teams. Everyone thinks coaches win and lose ballgames but really, kids win and lose games, and our kids are winning this year because they are playing hard and playing hard with each other, and they understand things a lot better than they did last year.”
The Indian coach went on to say that he stresses classroom performance to his players and that he feels they are gaining strength there as well. And then, there’s what he calls a bit of a touchy subject.
“We stress having faith in something, whether it’s your religion or not; we stress that they need to have faith in something and understand that we are playing for a bigger cause than just winning football games. Down the road, football will go away but the decisions they make about how to live their lives will have a big impact on them as well as on their families.
“That’s a lot of what we do in preparing our kids for the biggest game they’ll play and that’s the game of life. We use football as a tool right now to get them ready for life.”
Of course, if you’ve attended an Indian football game you know that players and coaches alike, win or lose, make their way after the game over to the other side of the field where they stand at attention for their opponents’ school song. According to Coach Hermesmeyer, this is simply a sign of respect for the other team.
“We know what it’s like to win, and we know what it’s like to lose so standing there with them we know exactly how they are feeling at that moment. Standing for their song shows sportsmanship and class.”
They do look sort of classy, don’t they? And all kidding aside, we salute these kiddos for their grit and determination to fight their way back into the winners circle, and we certainly take our United hats off to the coaching staff who helps them get where they want to go.