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Normally, I am not a big fan of August games on turf at 5 pm on a Saturday. I am one of those traditionalists that love Friday nights and the short week makes it tougher for the following game. We partner with Boyle and do the bowl games on consecutive Saturday nights to raise significant funding for the athletic departments at both schools.

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Over the past five years though, I have begun to appreciate the Rebel Bowl. It gives me a chance to go back to a place where I had a great time growing up when my Dad was the Boyle coach, but I don't have to deal with the emotions of playing a team that use to be MY team.

We moved to Boyle County in 1969 and were there for five seasons. I was four years old in 1969. I loved my Dad's players and those guys were super to me. I am a much better person today because of them and whenever I can see them or talk to them, I really enjoy it. I didn't realize it at the time, but those guys were a huge blessing and had a big impact on how I think and how I try to treat others. Their example changed my life.

Many days I walked across the parking lot after school for practice with my Dad. I was with my Dad alot in those days and really wish I could have one more day with him like I did in the early 70's. When our Titans walk down to do our pregame for the Rebel Bowl, I walk past the sidewalk and door where I would enter the HS to go into the football locker room. I can still see all those gold helmets freshly painted in the summer of 1969 scattered all over that sidewalk. Being in that HS, making that walk, being on that field, I most definitely feel like I am with my Dad again.

I also like the Rebel Bowl because I can be at Boyle but we are not playing Boyle. It will always be weird playing teams that use to be my team. I hated being at Paris or Mason and playing Mercer. I thought I could handle playing Paris after I had been at Mason over 10 years, but I was wrong. We went out for the coin toss and I had this awful feeling. I will never play Paris or Mason County unless I have to do so.

Also, Chuck Smith, the Boyle coach is one of my best friends and has been a great mentor for me. I hate him being on the other sideline. I hated facing Coach Gruneisen when he went to Bourbon. It's no fun facing my old HS coach, Larry French, either. I just don't like it. It doesn't bother me to coach against people that are my friends. I am so old, most coaches are my friends and I am glad for it. But, the ones that you have coached with, it just doesn't feel right.

It's only happened twice, but the best part of the Rebel Bowl for me is that the Titans win, I am getting to visit with some old Rebels, and then I hear the Boyle fight song as the Rebels take the field. It's like an explosion of memories and people you love that overwhelm you in the moment.

I'll spend the rest of the week listening to old songs from the early 70's, remembering my Dad, those old Rebels, and those wonderful memories. I will think about old #11, which I have done everyday since September 25, 1970.* I am also thankful I am coaching a bunch of really good guys, my Titans, that I also believe can be a pretty good football team in 2019. Past, present and future, around every corner, are reminders that God is good and has blessed me more than I deserve.

Hope you can be at the Rebel Bowl Saturday night. I know I am looking forward to it.

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