Football players, coaches enjoy rare Friday night off
Friday, October 26, 2012
by Matt Porter
Instead of wearing cleats Friday, Village Academy quarterback Larry Brihm wore running shoes.
"I was on a jog earlier," Brihm said. "It was pretty windy and rainy. You're used to it though. We live in Florida."
Meanwhile, Forest Hill coach Chris Kokell watched episodes of How I Met Your Mother and Big Bang Theory. Inlet Grove coach Jimmy Bell caught up on some sleep.
The threat of Hurricane Sandy left Palm Beach County without football Thursday and Friday, a rare Fall occurrence. Teams cannot meet or practice until Monday, when the season springs back to life with several games. So after watching the same game film for the fifth time, many of Palm Beach County's football players and coaches were searching for something to do.
"Little bit of nothing," Kokell said of his plans. "Watching film. Sent out some recruiting tapes. Catching up on my TV shows. Exciting stuff going on here at the Kokell household."
"I've been home all day getting rest," Bell said. "I never get a chance to sleep during the season."
The only Friday night lights Boynton Beach coach Rick Swain saw was the soft glow of the TV. He spent a quiet night with his wife, Sue, an elementary school teacher in Boynton Beach.
"She's real happy," Swain said. "She's been right there by my side for 38 years. That's a lot of dedication, a lot of games.
"My first plan was to try to do something fun, but with this storm, it kind of limits your options. We'll just enjoy a Friday night, watch a movie and just enjoy the down time," Swain said. "We both teach, and we're both exhausted."
Like many coaches, Swain delivered a message to his players. "Be safe and secure, first of all," he said. "Secondly, behave yourselves and use this time to catch up on your academics. Might as well, since you can't do much outside."
In advance of its big Monday night game at Atlantic, Royal Palm Beach coach Willie Bueno had a different message for his team: "Eat right. Don't lay around. Stay active. Don't stay up until three in the morning, don't sleep until two in the afternoon," he said he told them.
Will they follow through? "We'll see. Any time you take them out of their routine, you don't know how they're going to react. Everyone's got to deal with it, but high school kids are affected by that a lot."
Players like West Boca Raton senior running back Eugene Bethea were happy to rest injuries. Bethea, who suffered a bruised ankle two weeks ago, needed the extra time to heal. The Bulls play Spanish River on Monday and Santaluces on Thursday.
"Big time," Bethea said of how much he welcomed the break. "Let's just say it came in handy."
But not everyone had the day off. On Friday morning, American Heritage senior quarterback Marcus Davis hopped on a Southwest Airlines flight with his teammates. They were bound for Louisiana, where they'll play West Monroe High at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
Everyone enjoyed the trip. Even the six first-time fliers the Stallions brought.
"When we were taking off, (senior safety) Darrion (Richardson) said his stomach was acting up," Davis said. "Just until we got adjusted in the air. He was fine after that."
Davis, reached on a layover in Houston, was asked if he thought it was strange to not have football on Friday. He was taken aback. He was so focused on preparing for West Monroe that he didn't know about the games being canceled.
"I hadn't even realized that," Davis said. "Well, I guess we picked the right week to get out of town."