Mineral Wells head football coach Chuck Lawrence is consistent.
For the past three years I have covered the Rams, whether the team is 0-5 or 3-2 in non-district play, he has always said the same thing after each non-league contest – “We are still 0-0.”
Of course, any team 0-5 in non-district play will have their coach say that, and it does sound like just a morale booster.
But I have also been on the other end of the stick.
When covering Aledo for their local weekly newspaper a few years back, I asked Bearcats head coach Tim Buchanan how he felt about his team being 3-0 heading into district play.
Buchanan, with a near scowl on his face, reminded me that “We are 0-0. Nothing more; nothing less. Those three (non-district) games don’t count toward anything.”
Lawrence reminded me once again when we were talking during our usual weekly meeting that the season really begins Friday when the Rams host the Castleberry Lions in the District 6-3A opener for both teams.
“When you are 0-5 that (0-0 district record) is great news, and if you are 5-0 it might not be such great news,” Lawrence said. “But either way it is the same thing – 0-0.”
Morale booster are not, the facts remain the facts: All 6-3A schools are 0-0 and there is new life – and new hope – for those teams like the Rams with losing non-district records.
Non-district records also don’t always tell the entire story. The Rams had six starters out in their season opener Aug. 30 against Graham, and in the following three games had an average of five starters out due to injury.
In their final non-district game, the Rams got one of those players back and expect Kolby Parks and Grant Peters to be back for the district opener.