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JAGNEAUX: Coaches, players and fans gear up for playoff time

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BY: TRACEY JAGNEAUX
Sports Editor

It’s playoff time!!!
This is the one time of the year that all high school football players, coaches and fans wait for.
We all go through the regular season as a fan pulling for our favorite team; watching and waiting to see if they can somehow make it into the second season. It can seem rather mundane at times for the casual fan.
However, for the coaching staffs and players across the state, these playoff games are not just about another game. It is much more than that.
The playoffs mean redemption for all the countless hours of preparation that goes into a football season.
The casual fan does not see how much time these players sacrifice to have an opportunity to get a chance to play just one more game.
The season actually begins the day after the last season has been completed. This is where the opportunity to get stronger, faster and more athletic begins.
From there, it is spring training. The time of year where coaches can evaluate the upcoming crop of players and possibly tinker with the offensive and defensive playbooks; a time of the year where a player may come from obscurity to a solid starter and even a star in the upcoming season.
Now comes the summer and the real push toward the main goal on every player and coach’s mind; getting through the regular season unscathed.
Summer workouts are designed to put the body through the gauntlet, so that each player can handle the grind of the entire 10 game season and come out relatively healthy.
Summer workouts also mean that coaches can instill a sense of work ethic that will hopefully last the entire season.
Being a former high school football coach, I know all too well the sacrifice that each of the coaching staffs put in throughout the season.
Coaches look at the playoffs as a reward for the enormous amount of time put in during the offseason and the regular season; sometimes at the sacrifice to their families.
High school football coaches, all high school coaches for that matter, sacrifice things that the ordinary fan cannot see.
High school football coaches do not just show up to practice and then go home. There are the late nights after a game putting together stats, washing clothes, downloading film and rehashing the events of the game.
Saturdays are filled with watching film and game planning, usually from early morning to well into the afternoon.
Sundays are spent at home, but coaches being coaches are usually tinkering with the plays for the week.
And finally, there is the obligations that must be carried out during the week. The booster meetings, the after practice meetings and the putting out of small fires.
There is no coach out there that does not want to make the playoffs. It is an event that can wash away all of the mistakes and what if questions that permeated the regular season.
The playoffs are a second chance for all of the teams regardless of what the regular season records indicate.
So as this playoff season begins, as you get your fan gear ready to make that trip or sit in your favorite seat at the home stadium, please understand that no matter what happens to your team this playoff season, the coaches and players are only human.
You may even want to say congratulations and thank you for the time put in; even if your team did not make the postseason.

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