Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Meet, Mindi Womack!

Hi, Mindi! Welcome to the blog and thanks for letting me interview you. Mindi's married to Jerod Womack, who coaches the Wide Receivers and is also C0-Offensive Coordinator. They have the cutest little boys, Hudson and Grant.

Tell us a little about yourself?

My name is Mindi. I grew up in West Texas, Midland to be exact. I grew up loving high school football...wouldn't be a true West Texan if you didn't! I have two sisters and the best parents in the world (all devoted Cooger fans). I grew up being in athletics. I was a fastpitch softball pitcher and played all the way through college at Mary Hardin-Baylor. Jerod and I have two boys, Hudson (2) and Grant (8 mo).

When did you meet your coach?

Jerod and I met in high school. We were friends first, then started dating his senior year and my sophomore year. We had a long distance relationship for several years and got married when I graduated from nursing school in 2003.

How long have you been a coaches wife?

Since we got married. It's been 7 years now....seems impossible!

What quality do you most admire in your coach?

It's very hard to pick out just one quality that I admire the most in Jerod. I think I would just say his love for people. I think his genuine love for people is what makes him a hard working, great coach and an even better husband and father.

What is your favorite part of football season?

FRIDAYS!! The games are awesome to watch! I love watching Jerod in action. And when they win....it's so rewarding to see all of the guys' (coaches and players) hard work pay off.

What is your greatest challenge?

It's a challenge during football season seeing Jerod having to be apart from his family so much. We miss him a ton and he really misses a lot with the kids during the long hours that they work.

Where do you work?

I am by trade a RN. I work part-time at Abilene Regional Medical Center as a labor and delivery nurse. It's amazing to be in a job where you witness the miracle of birth every time you go to work! My two miracles at home are my fulltime job and I couldn't love it more!

What hobbies do you enjoy?

My hobbies include anything that involves being with my family. I enjoy scrapbooking (when I have time), being outdoors, and being with friends. And on occasion, I enjoy a good reality TV show!

Thanks a lot Mindi! I love your humor and good attitude. You're a great addition to the coaches wives and we're so glad you and Jerod are at Cooper!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Meet, Cassidi Dunnam!

Today, I'd like you to meet another coaches wife. Cassidi, is married to Aaron Dunnam, who coaches the inside linebackers. Cassidi, has been the athletic secretary at Cooper the past two years. Though she will be greatly missed Cassidi, has decided to stay home with her three adorable children, Lyssa, Parker and Tate.

Welcome Cassidi! Thanks for giving everyone an opportunity to know you better!

. Tell us a little about yourself?

My name is Cassidi. I grew up in the best little town in whole world, Wheeler! I could ride my bike anywhere I wanted! I lived in the same house for 18 years and it is still my favorite place to be! Family means everything to me! In high school I ran cross country and track and played basketball. My graduating class had 23 people and to this day I keep in touch with most of them!

Aaron and I have been blessed with three children for which we are so thankful. They keep us busy and smiling!

. When did you meet your coach?

I met my husband when I was in the 5th grade! He moved to Wheeler from a town near by. I still remember the first time I saw him. I thought he was soooooo cute (much like Parker now). When I was in the 6th grade I remember telling him I was going to marry him someday! I wasn’t kidding!

. How long have you been a coaches wife?

Although it seems like just yesterday he started coaching, it has been 7 years.

. What quality do you most admire in your coach?

On the field…his passion for the game, I love to watch him coach just as much as I loved to watch him play!

Off the field…the love he has for our babies! I never get tired of seeing him hold them.

. What is your favorite part of football season?

The games are tons of fun. Me and my girls (c-wives) have made many, many, many funny memories on all of our road trips. Of course I love all the kiddos running around.

. What is your greatest challenge?

My greatest challenge during football season isn’t doing all the “work” at home by myself. It’s all the memories that are made at home that I wish he could be a part of. It’s hearing, “Mom, why can’t daddy come?”

. Where do you work? (job, home, etc.- plug your business if you have one)

Four more days at Cooper, then a full time stay at home mom! I will be remoting into my dad’s computer to help him with one of his business, Wallace Tax Service. I will also be helping my sisters with our new business adventure called PLAY IT S.A.F.E (www.playitsafeprogram.com). My oldest sister has patented a concussion management program. She has been working with the University of Texas for ten years and she decided to make it public and promote it to other colleges and high schools. So far, OSU, Alabama , and the Jets have purchased it. We are very excited about it J

. What hobbies do you enjoy?

I love doing things around my house…painting and gardening are two of my favorites! We love having family and friends over, so we always want our house to feel open and FUN!!!

Cassidi, thank you so much for dropping by. And on behalf of the wives I want to thank you. You're so good at organizing things and getting us together. Your like the glue! We love you!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Meet, Katie Galusha!

Welcome to the Cooper Football blog!

You may have noticed that things have changed a little bit around here:) I love makeovers and design challenges and I'm always changing things! I started this blog last year as a little gift to those who love Cooper Football. In my house that happens to be my husband, Coach Spradlin, who I respect and admire. He is a deeply committed, well invested indiviual, living out his dream. Life with him as been an amazing adventure, full of breath taking moments! This year, as the ones before it are sure to be full of excitement. I will continue to journal the 2010 season, as before but I'll be telling the story from a personal prospective. That of a coaches wife. Which works are amazingly well since I am one. I also just happen to be surrounded by 12 others. So, I'll have lot's of help.

So, let's started with some introductions. Many of you have had an opportunity to meet the men who coach the Cooper Cougars. They are a stellar group of men that genuinely care about the lives and futures of the young men they coach. A touching observation for those who have had the e opportunity to watch first hand. As you know, this kind of concern makes a big difference in hearts and minds, and attitudes. It reinforces what parents have passed on and further prepares them for the years ahead. So needless to say, yet true. Awesome things are happening in the lives of those involved! Good things are on the horizon...the best is yet to come!

So, you've met the coaches. Now I would like you to meet the women that love and respect them. The ladies who encourage them 24/7 to be the men they are! In the days to come I will invite each of these lovely women to be my guest. I will ask them a few questions that will help you get to know them better. They are precious,inspiring and unique. Each one plays an irreplaceable role, just as you in their family and community.

Today, I'll be visiting with Katie Galusha. Katie is married to Rob Galusha, defensive secondary coach. Welcome Katie! I'm so glad to visit with you today!

.Tell us a little about yourself?

I was born & raised right here in Abilene, TX. I have lived here my entire life, and I do love it! I went to Abilene High (gasp!) and graduated from there in 2006. I am currently attending Hardin-Simmons and will graduate with a degree in Biology in December of this year. I hope to continue on and obtain a master's degree.

. When did you meet your coach?

I met my coach in 2003 at our church's youth camp in Oklahoma. We were both from Abilene but had never met. We were in the same small group at camp, so we spent a lot of the week together. I didn't think of it this way at the time, but I think I was in love with Rob pretty much immediately! He was an awesome football player (at Cooper!) and I was hooked!

. How long have you been a coaches wife?

I have been a coach's wife from the moment we arrived home from our honeymoon in July of 2008. When we got off the plane, Rob checked his voicemail, and he had a message from Coach Spradlin telling him that the job was his! We were jumping for joy (and receiving some crazy glares) in a terminal at DFW!

. What quality do you most admire in your coach?

There are so many things that I admire about my coach, but I think I would have to say his dedication and passion. He doesn't commit to anything without completely fulfilling his duties (and then some!). His passion for football is certainly undeniable. There are many yellow tablets with play after play jotted down on them as well as many game films around our house to prove it!

. What is your favorite part of football season?

My favorite part of football season has to be those Friday night lights! There's really nothing better than seeing all of your coach's work pay off. I also love being with my fellow c-wives...I love how we especially come together during the season.

. What is your greatest challenge?

Whew, where to begin? I am human and have many challenges, but right now I'd say my biggest challenge is figuring out who I really am. I'm at a crossroads right now because I'm about to graduate from college but I'm not certain what it is that I want to do with my life. I want to have a career that I love, one that challenges me, and one that allows me to help and uplift others. Right now I am doing my best to leave that in the hands of the Lord, but it is hard to be patient sometimes!

. Where do you work?

I work part-time waiting tables at a local steakhouse and full-time as a house-wife! :)

. What hobbies do you enjoy?

I LOVE cooking/baking! After being diagnosed with Celiac disease last summer, I had to become a little more creative in the kitchen, and I have really enjoyed that. I have also recently become a big fan of blogging!

Katie, thank you so much for sharing! You are a wonderful addition to our H.U.G.'s (huddle up girl's) and we all love your enthusiasm and sweet disposition!

Thanks for stopping by. You're interest and support is so encouraging...and appreciated! It's hard to believe we have out first game tomorrow night, but we do! Have a great day and see you at the game!

A New Game Plan!

My Playbook For Life
How high school football changed everything for country star Kenny Chesney.
by Kevin Sessums
Parade Magazine

Kenny Chesney is not wearing a hat. That’s the old Kenny Chesney—or at least the public Kenny Chesney—the country mega-star who is forever party-ready, beck-and-call rowdy, always peering out at his fans from under a brim.

But last fall, something inside Chesney changed.

“You’d think I’d have been happiest in my life playing music in front of 50,000 people at Gillette Stadium. But let me tell you, it’s an odd feeling to feel alone in the spotlight,” the singer-songwriter says, sitting in an overstuffed chair in his Nashville production office. He’s wearing jeans and sneakers and a T-shirt that exposes his buff biceps. A bottle of Corona is by his side. “I was standing onstage last year, and I felt like I wanted to be somewhere else. No matter how many people were out there, it all just felt like a blank sheet of paper.” So the 42-year-old entertainer, who has sold more than one million concert tickets during each of the past eight summers, decided to sit out the season—surprising his fans and Nashville, but most important, surprising himself.

It’s said that rockers want you to forget where they come from but country stars want you to remember. This country star had to remind himself of his own roots. He spent his year off reconnecting with his family and hometown in east Tennessee, which culminated in his producing a documentary about the impact of high school football, The Boys of Fall, due to air on ESPN this fall. A reverie of innocence lost and manhood found, it features coaches and players from the pro and college ranks reminiscing about their times in high school. It also highlights a few small-town high school teams, including Chesney’s own former squad.

See exclusive pics from PARADE's phoot shoot on the football field with Kenny Chesney

“I felt as if I had lost my center,” Chesney says, explaining why he took the year off. “But sitting there talking to those coaches and hearing these icons of the game—their wisdom and philosophies about football, life, marriage, and love—relates to how I am now trying to find some balance in my life. It’s done more to inspire me than anything in a long time. I didn’t see it coming. I didn’t realize this film would do that for me.”

Chesney’s love of the game began on the football field of Gibbs High, near tiny Luttrell, Tenn., where he grew up. He didn’t go out for the team until his junior year; he played wide-receiver. “It all started for me on that field,” Chesney says. “Football taught me how hard you had to work to achieve something,” he says, his eyes lighting up at the memory of “knockin’ heads and talkin’ trash, slingin’ mud and dirty grass,” as he sings in his first single—also called “The Boys of Fall”—off his new album, Hemingway’s
Whiskey, due out Sept. 28.

In high school, Chesney was too busy with baseballs and basketballs and footballs to pick up a guitar. That didn’t happen until he went to college and began to play local clubs. “When I was playing for tips in college, I felt a fire in my soul. I had the same principle of focus that I had learned playing football.

Yearbook photos of Kenny and other celebs who played high school football

“I stopped [touring] because I need to feed this,” he says, grabbing a fistful of his T-shirt right where his heart is. “I needed to reconnect with my family. I needed to reconnect with me. I needed to pick up the guitar just because. I needed to get that kind of heart back in my life.”

He takes a long, slow swig of his beer and rubs the birthmark on his right bicep. It’s an endearing, daydreamy gesture that emerges whenever he feels his innate sweetness begin to blur his party-guy image.

Chesney’s sweetness comes in large part from being raised so well by his mother, Karen, a hairstylist, who was only 19 when she gave birth to him and was divorced soon after he was born. His father, Dave, is a former schoolteacher. Karen was a working single mom for most of his childhood before marrying his stepfather. She divorced again when her son was in high school and recently married for a third time.

“She was dating someone once and broke up,” Chesney says. “And this stayed with me. She said, ‘Kenny, I just want you to know I’d rather be miserable alone than miserable with somebody else.’ That makes a lot of sense to me.”

Chesney’s own love life has been spotty as well—most notably, his four-month-long marriage to actress RenĂ©e Zellweger, which was annulled in a miasma of media scandal in 2005. He is currently in an on-again-off-again relationship with a young Nashville nurse, Amy Colley.

Even though the breakup with Zellweger was hard, “there ain’t nothing you can do about it,” he says. “Just hang on for the ride. Now I look back on it as just another way of getting knocked down on the football field.”

And he insists it hasn’t made him marriage-shy. “Not at all,” he says. “I hope that’s in the cards for me one day.”

But does The Boys of Fall, which is filled with scenes of young men bonding with one another as well as their fathers and coaches, make him want to have kids of his own—so he can be a cheering parent in the stands? “Not really,” Chesney says. “I hope I have kids one day. But I don’t wake up every day and miss that in my life.”

What he does miss is trust.

“The world is a different place now,” he says. “I mean, if I go out with a girl, there is a possibility that she’s going to get up from the dinner table and go to the bathroom and use Twitter to tell everybody what she’s doing. And the next thing you know, everybody’s got a play-by-play of what you’re having for dinner. That would make anybody uncomfortable.”

As Chesney polishes off his beer, I ask him why so many of his songs are about drinking. Would he call himself a functioning alcoholic? Laughing nervously, he turns to one of his entourage. “Bring me another beer!” he shouts good-naturedly. Then he looks at me soberly. “I probably don’t drink as much as perceived,” he says. “I’m too healthy. But a lot of my songs were written with the idea of having a good time. When I’m on tour, you’d be surprised by how disciplined I am. Because I have to be. But when I’m off tour, that’s when those drinkin’ songs get written. That’s probably a misconception about me. Yeah, I have a few cold beers every now and then. No doubt about it.”

See photos of Kenny working the stage and the crowd

The other misconception about Chesney is that he’s not comfortable without his hat. The truth is he also learned to be follically challenged on that same football field.

“When I was 17 or 18, I’d take my helmet off on the field, and I’d see hair in it and go, ‘Good God! What’s going on?’” he says with a chuckle. “It did bother me in college a little bit—going bald—but it doesn’t at all now. What’s ironic about it is that friends of mine in their 30s and 40s are just starting to lose their hair and are freaking out. I went through all that in high school.”

For Chesney, everything comes back to football. “When my father and I didn’t have anything in common and didn’t talk about anything, there was always University of Tennessee football,” he says. “There are a lot of fathers and sons out there like that. Last year, after my tour was over, me and my dad went to lots of games. It was because of football that our relationship got better. We even went to the Super Bowl.”

Does Chesney dream of playing the Super Bowl halftime show? “If I was asked to do it—yeah, I probably would.” What he wants to do right now, however, is get the word out about The Boys of Fall. It’s as if he’s on a mission.

“I feel a responsibility to myself—the self that was that kid,” he says. “I want a sophomore in high school to take away wanting to be the best player, the best friend, the best person he can be. Football emulates life. You get knocked down—but it’s how you get up and handle it that’s important.”

During filming, former NFL coach Bill Parcells told Chesney, “I want these players and myself to hang onto your passion. If you can hang onto someone’s passion, it becomes habit-forming.”

“That was the best compliment I could have gotten,” Chesney says. “Because that’s another reason I took the year off. Not that I’m not passionate about what I do musically, but it was beginning to seem mechanical. I didn’t like that. Music has to be about the heart and soul.”

That’s a lesson he learned not onstage but on the football fields of east Tennessee.

“When I was that boy in that high school football uniform, and I was dreaming, I had no idea my life could be like this,” Chesney says. “I used to go out in my backyard and just look up at the sky and know there was something out there for me. I just didn’t know what it was. I do love my life now. I am blessed beyond belief.”

Cooper wins season opener 40-21!

Whatever doubts Cooper fans might have had about their new quarterback were put to rest in the season opener.

Clayton Nicholas, a guy who hadn’t started a game since eighth grade, threw for 346 yards and three touchdowns as the Cougars surged past the Wichita Falls Rider Raiders 40-21 on Friday at Shotwell Stadium.

“I couldn’t have asked any more out of him for the first game,” Cooper coach Mike Spradlin said. “He did a tremendous job of executing our offense and making good decisions.”

Nicholas, a 6-foot-3, 205-pound junior, completed 18-of-28 passes. He threw one interception.

“We all played well,” Nicholas said. “Our defense was outstanding, and our offensive line helped me throw the ball around, gave me time to find the receivers. I thought it was a good night for all of us.”

Nicholas got plenty of help from his teammates. Alford Cooper amassed 178 total yards of offense. The senior running back ran for 95 yards and two touchdowns and caught six passes for 83 yards and a touchdown.

“They got Eric Dickerson over there,” Rider coach Jim Garfield said about Alford Cooper. “He’s a stud.”

Khole Jackson also had a big night, catching four passes for 127 yards and a touchdown.

Overall, Cooper rolled up 571 yards of total offense.

“I’m so proud of Al and our skilled guys,” Spradlin said. “Khole had a big night, and Khaeer (Sonnier) caught the ball well. Clay did a great job. But those five guys we have up front are pretty special right now. They’re the guys making that happen.”

Rider hung tough with Cooper until the Coogs outscored the Raiders 13-0 in the fourth quarter.

In fact, Rider cut Cooper’s lead to six on Deron Royster’s one-yard touchdown run with one second left in the third quarter.

But Alford Cooper ripped off an 18-yard touchdown run with 8:11 left in the game, and Davon Riddick capped the night with a 40-yard TD run. Riddick finished with a game-high 109 yards rushing on 13 carries.

“We were going good, but things happened, and it didn’t go our way,” Garfield said.

Rider got off to a good start as Tevin Aldridge went 83 yards for a touchdown on the game’s first play from scrimmage. The Raiders went for two and failed.

Cooper’s first possession came to an end when Tyler Weir picked off Nicholas at the 21-yard line, setting up the Raiders at their own 25. But a bad snap cost Rider 20 yards, and the Raiders were forced to punt. Cooper ended up with great field position after the punt, thanks in part to a 15-yard penalty on Rider, giving the Coogs the ball at the Rider 14.

Three plays later, Alford Cooper scored from five yards out with 6:39 left in the opening quarter.

Rider answered with a 34-yard field goal by Connor Nutt less than two minutes later.

Cooper got its first big play later in the half, as Nicholas threw his first career varsity touchdown pass — a 76-yarder to Jackson.

Rider retook the lead on Malcolm Carter’s 26-yard touchdown pass to Graham McGregor less than a minute later, putting the Raiders up 15-14.

However, Cooper put together a 10-play, 73-yard scoring drive for a 21-15 lead — a score that would hold up at the half. Nicholas capped the drive with an 11-yard touchdown pass to John Patrick.

Cooper increased its lead to 34-21 on Nicholas’ 10-yard touchdown pass to Alford Cooper early in the third quarter. Rider closed the gap on Royster’s 1-yard touchdown run.

But the Coogs would put the game away in the final quarter.

“Cooper is a great football team, and they kept the ball away from us,” Garfield said.

Rider 9 6 6 0—21

Cooper 7 14 6 13—40

First Quarter

RID — Tevin Aldridge 83 run (pass failed), 11:41

CHS — Alford Cooper 5 run (Justin Lehr kick), 6:39

RID — Connor Nutt 34 FG, 4:55

Second Quarter

CHS — Khole Jackson 76 pass from Clayton Nicholas (Lehr kick), 8:21

RID — Graham McGregor 26 pass from Malcom Carter (run failed), 7:18

CHS — John Patrick 11 pass from Nicholas (Lehr kick), 2:14

Third Quarter

CHS — Cooper 10 pass from Nicholas (kick blocked), 10:00

RID — Deron Royster 1 run (pass failed), :01

Fourth Quarter

CHS — Cooper 18 run (Lehr kick), 8:11

CHS — Davon Riddick 40 run (kick failed), 5:12

Abilene Reporter Telegram....thanks, Richard!

Friday, August 27, 2010

We won our first game! Abilene Cooper 40- Wichita Falls 21

Congratulations to the Cooper Cougars! It was a good game and a great weather. I'll post more in the morning!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Girls Night Out!

As most of you know, Roxanne the artist is also, Roxanne the Coach's wife. I, like most of you precious women, wear many hats. We all complain but really don't you love being many things to many people? It's definitely challenging and helps us grow!

Recently, I hosted a 'Girls Night Out' party for 12 special ladies. All of which happen to be married to football coaches. Every year about this time, before football season begins, I send out cute invitations and then start making plans to celebrate these women. For those of you who do not know, Football Season is a BIG here in Texas! To be a successful coach requires commitment, dedication, passion, hard work, determination plus long work weeks. Were talking 90 plus hours from August to (hopefully) mid December. Need I say more about these amazing wives that keep the home fires burning?

Yes I do!

They are pretty, cheerful, fun and kind. They cook, clean and wash . They teach, discipline, inspire and encourage. They read, color, play games, go on walks. They bake cookies, make lunches and warm up dinners. They work in and out of the home, pay bills, mow lawns. They hammer, nail and use power tools. They juggle after school sports, errands and appointments. They basically do it all with very little assistance. At the end of the day, when they tuck their babies in bed, they count their blessings and kiss them twice. Once for themselves and once for their daddy, who would love to be there too!

So each year I 'H'uddle 'U'p (these) 'G'irls....I call them H.U.G.'s! I love them with pretty decorations, gifts, good food and encouraging words. Even Coach gets involved by reminding them how valuable and appreciated they are!

We had a wonderful time talking. We ate Spinach Salad with fresh peaches, toasted almonds and seeds. Then, the Mansion on Turtle Creek's Tortilla Soup. For dessert we had Frozen Strawberry Bars. Later we shared our hearts and ideas with each. Discussing ways we can help one another. After all, we are a community of coaching families. We are a sisterhood of coaches wives. We have so much in common but most importantly we love our husband. In fact, it's even more than love, we respect them! They are good men, fighting the good fight and we admire them for it and in return, they love us well!

The happiest people don't have the best of everything, they just make the best of everything they have!

A special thanks to our son Clint and his beautiful wife Jenny, and Jenny's precious aunt & uncle Nancy and Jim Martin, who brightened my weekend with their visit. We shopped til we dropped and ate (at Perini's) til we popped! They were so thoughtful and kind, helpful in every way! Everyone, even Clint and Jim, helped make the paper flowers ( an easy to assemble kit from Martha Stewart) and like a good 'coach's kid', Clint patiently hung them up. I was so touched by their willingness to help me out! One of the nicest things about 'love' is the union of families. Jenny, I'm so thankful that God brought you and Clint together. :) You and your family have richly blessed me!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Fall 2010

Welcome! Football season is here again! What an exciting time of the year. I can't help but wonder, 'what it means to you?' So many things, to so many people. For my husband, it's a favorite time of the year, like Christmas to a child. Something you look forward to all year long and year after year. It also is an incredibly demanding time. Last Friday, Coach put in an 18 hour work day that involved a trip to Wichita Falls, then to Amarillo and back to Abilene at 2:00 am. After 3 1/2 hours of sleep, he was up and at 'em and back up to the school for another long day. Even after all of these years, I never cease to be amazed!

For me, a coaches wife, it's a different story. Though my days are busy, they are mine to fill. Everything is flexible. Subject to change. I'm available to help. It works well that way.
So tell me, what does 'football season' mean to you?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Kenny Chesney “The Boys Of Fall” « K-FROG 95.1 FM and 92.9 FM – California Country Music Radio Station

Kenny Chesney “The Boys Of Fall” « K-FROG 95.1 FM and 92.9 FM – California Country Music Radio Station

WELL, FOLKS! IT'S ABOUT THAT TIME AGAIN....TIME FOR A LITTLE WEST TEXAS FOOTBALL! AND WHAT BETTER WAY TO start out the 2010 season, than with a brand new Kenny Chesney song called, Boys of Fall! So, listen for yourself, dig out your red and blue and let's get ready to support the Cooper Cougars, in what could be their best season yet!