Coaches Enjoy One Last Cookout Before Season

Sometimes, you could just need a day off. And a friend. And a hamburger.

For high school football coaches getting ready for three or four months of intense work, Saturday's cookout gave them a day to relax.

"In the coaching fraternity," Beckville head coach Donald Hubbard said, "we can talk about things. It just makes it a lot easier when you're talking to a fellow coach."

"This is my fifth one," Tatum head coach Andy Evans said. "This is always a neat thing for coaches in the area to get together, shoot the bull, tell lies, all that kind of stuff."

Carthage Assistant Principal Pat Browning, a former coach himself, had the idea to stage the event at his old family cabin in the Fairplay community.

"You know, these coaches are under a tremendous amount of pressure," Browning said. "If they're winning, they try to figure out how to win mnext week, if they're losing, they try and figure out how to win and keep their jobs."

"We come out here and relax and have a good time, and enjoy each other."

For the coaches, it's the last day off with the only people who can understand what they're about to go through.

"Probably in about two weeks," Carthage head coach Scott Surratt said, "we won't have any weekends, we'll be working. It's a great thing hearing old ball stories from Coach Little and Coach Meeks, that's priceless."

"We're all fixing to do the same thing," Henderson coach Dickey Meeks said. "Everybody knows what they're about to do, we're going to be at work for a long period of time and there's people here that are going through the same things and people you can call on if you need to. They know what you're going through."

There's people that are going through the same sort of things.

Saturday was one last day in the country before things get crazy, and to remind these coaches why they chose the profession.

"I just think there's a relationship between coaches that's different than any other," Evans said. "The main reason that I coach is because of kids, I love kids and want to make a difference in their lives."

"The other reason I coach is because of coaches."

Reid Kerr can be reached at