This weeks Friday Night Tykes youth football reality television show focuses on the Texas TYFA State Championship game between the San Antonio Outlaws and the Mission Mustangs from the Rio Grande Valley. Before we get to the title game, the show takes a peek at the year-end banquets of the Broncos and Colts.
The Broncos finished up just 1-7 after suffering through a horrific 2013 season that saw Coach Charles Chavarria suspended for teaching targeting. Seeing the Broncos under the covers rightfully scared a lot of parents off. The new coaching staff did a great job of being positive, engaging the kids and teaching safe tackling methods, but they weren’t very good technical football coaches. Thankfully they didn’t hand out trophies to their team. I’m fine with participation trophies for kids aged 7 and under but for 5th and 6th grade kids, not so much. It’s great the kids made it through the season, the bags were a good gesture, but trophies are for excellence, leave that for the YMCA soccer leagues.
The Colts had a positive banquet as well. Coach Mareques Goodloe took time to bring every player on stage and say a few positive and personal things about each one of them. At the end of the banquet Goodloe stepped down as President and Head Coach of the Colts. This didn’t surprise me in the least, it’s something I could see happening from the very first show. Mareques is an outgoing “relationship” guy who hates telling people no. He also is an aggressive recruiter. That makes for a lot of people one has to answer to and make happy. It can wear on a person, especially someone with the personality of a Mareques.
The kids love and respect Goodloe and he does a lot of very positive things, but you could see Coach wasn’t enjoying himself this year. Youth football parents can be one of the most unappreciative entitled group of human beings on the planet. That shtick wears out a lot of guys coaching youth football, that’s one of the main reasons you don’t see guys coaching more than 4-5 years. The kids are great, but there’s a reason why being head coach of an orphanage team is a widely coveted job. Goodloe would make an outstanding assistant coach somewhere, especially if he was paired with someone who could help him keep his language in check. Goodloe does just that at the end of the show by announcing to the Outlaw coaching staff that he will be joining them next season. I guess if you can’t beat them, join them.
The Outlaw-Mustang game starts off with the Mustangs missing two of their two-way starters. Yes, the players are running late to the State Championship game, supposedly because they are lost. This is the second time we’ve seen this from a team on the show. Coaching point: ALWAYS hand out paper maps to your game location along with several e-mails reminding parents of the route, time and penalties for being late. In my program every minute late equals one lap on Mondays practice and a loss in playing time. You hate to punish the players for the sins of the parent, but sometimes that’s the only way you can solve the problem. For the ultra undependable parent, make arrangements for a coach or another parent to take their child to the game. You hate to have to treat grown adults like children, but that’s reality when you are coaching youth football in 2015.
The Mustangs are limited in what they can run, due to their starters being out, but they move the ball and score on the Outlaws on a well executed pass play. They come right back with a beautiful onside kick and look to open the game up. But wait, now their two late kids come sprinting in from the parking lot and the Mustangs take a timeout to rush them into the game. The problem is, they first have to be certified and time almost runs out as they rush onto the field. In the confusion, the snap is bad, the Quarterback doesn’t field the ball cleanly and he throws a terrible outlet pass and it’s a pick six.
This was a HUGE momentum changer, the Mustangs had the Outlaws on the ropes. There was no need to rush those kids onto the field, the ensuing chaos, made the Mustangs make a massive mistake they wouldn’t have made under normal circumstances. The Mustangs score again late in the third quarter to make it a two score game at 16-6. As we get into the fourth quarter the Outlaws open it up but face a 4th and 15 in their own territory. If the Mustangs hold, the game is probably over, but the Outlaws heave up a long pass and score to make it a one score game. The Mustangs fail to convert and the Outlaws take over at their own 7 yard line with just over 3 minutes to go in the game. The Outlaws go 5 wide again and throw it right down the field again to take an 18-16 lead with just 1:40 left. The Mustangs drive it the length of the field to the Outlaw 12 yard line, but just miss winning the game as the clock winds out.
The Outlaws without any shadow of a doubt had more talent than the Mustangs, that isn’t debateable. However the Mustangs were better coached, fundamentally and scheme wise. They threw the ball on time and in rhythm, not throwing desperation bombs to athletes outrunning coverage. I liked the precision, finesse and accuracy of the passing game AND the playcalling on the Mustang side. When they scored their second touchdown, the Outlaws were all set to sack the big number 42 in the backfield on a Power I power to the blocking back side, but the Mustangs faked that and ran an Iso to the Blocking Back away from the power side, great call.
The Mustang Quarterbacks, pocket presence and movement was well coached, he wasn’t scrambling for his life and just being an athlete like the Outlaw Quarterback. However the Mustang Head Coach was NOT very good with his team. His nervousness and willingness to fiercely criticize his players using improper language was wrong and counterproductive. He was so tight and seemingly unhappy prior to the game. That manifests itself in your team. When they get into a tight spot, they concentrate on not trying to make a mistake, instead of going out and trying to make plays.
That is what won the game for the Outlaws. Their kids were confident in their team and their athleticism. They overcame poor offensive coaching to pull out the win. Why a team with so many amazing athletes would feel like they had to power teams, when they can create so many mismatches all over the field in spread just boggles the mind. When you have the athletic advantage with so many weapons over another team, space it your FRIEND, not your enemy. When the Outlaws late in the game finally decided to spread things out and go 5 wide, they moved the ball at will.
Hats off to both teams, we saw good sportsmanship from the players and a heck of a youth football games. Hopefully we all learned from the experience and can take what we learned not to do and to do into our next youth football season.