By BRODY FELDMANN
Mustang football coaches took senior athletes and fathers on an unforgettable trip to southwest Oklahoma for a one-day retreat.
“It was amazing. When I tell you that it totally changed the way that our seniors look at our football program and our coaches. It is a different vibe and different feel. The trust that we built there and everything, it was a cool experience,” senior Hayden Conrad said.
The group traveled to Medicine Park and Lawton to do some hiking in the Wichita Mountains.
During the trip, the group participated in some trust events such as trust falling, the dads led their sons up a trail as the boys had their eyes closed and the group also came together at one point for the dads to tell the kids what they were most proud of.
“It is a great feeling to get a, ‘hey, good job on this’ on the field but off the field when you are getting a, ‘I’m so proud of you for your encouragement. I’m so proud of you for your respect.’ That is always a cool thing,” Conrad said.
This has been a trip that head coach Lee Blankenship has done with his teams for quite some time, and he has many different reasons why he enjoys it.
“In my press conference and in our parent meeting, I told the parents and our community that I believe my job as a head coach is to pour football into their kids, and that is important, and we want to win ball games. But what is more important is that I partner with them to make sure that when their kids leave our program that they understand what it means to be a man of character; what it means to be a leader in our community; what a great daddy looks like; what a great husband should look like, behave like and act like. I just really believe that is a huge part of my job of being a ball coach,” Blankenship said.
It gives the boys and fathers a day to spend alone and enjoy each other’s company and do something that they may not do usually.
“It is always cool to hang out with my dad. You don’t get a lot of those moments. To hear all of the wisdom coming out of all of the dads and my dad in general is a really cool thing,” an emotional Conrad said. “It is especially cool when it is someone you look up to and they are calling you out and being like, ‘I’m proud of you for this, this and this.’ It was really cool.”
The trip ended the first half of summer workouts before the mandatory dead period started the next day.
The Broncos are back in the weight room to get bigger, faster, stronger and to prepare for the season ahead, which begins in 57 days.