Friday Night Fever Week 9
Family is very important to Jefferson City Head Coach Ted LaPage.
"Anytime a player walks between those white lines, and plays the game for Jefferson City, or another place I have been a coach, you develop a relationship really that's like your son out there also. So from that perspective I am always trying to be a parent coach," Coach LaPage said.
Something that makes things a little more difficult than a normal year...Coach LaPage's quaterback, is his own son.
His son Thomas said, "When we get to the stadium in the morning, he turns into my coach, and then before we leave he'll ask me if i have any questions and then once we leave, he's my dad again."
Ted adds, "Once we leave, it's over. Once we get out of the perimeters of that football facility, the gloves are off and we are back to being a family again."
The LaPages aren't the only father-son duo on the team. Wide receiver Michael Washington's dad is also a coach.
"I was excited when I first found out I was going to play with him," Washington said.
Michael Washington Jr. gets to hear coaching advice from Michael Washington Sr.
It's special to Washington Sr. "I lost my father at a very young age. He never got a chance to watch me play football. So having him out there and watching him play, you know him having his father out there and me watching my son play, it's just an awesome experience that I can't put words to."
As always in situations like this, both coaches hear talk about their sons getting playing time just because they are the coaches son.
"I was like, 'Ted you know what, I played with you at Mizzou, you know who I am, I know who you are, you are going to put the best player out on the field. If my son is not cutting the mustard, hey put somebody else in. If Thomas is not cutting the mustard, hey put somebody else in.' That's it, we want to win ball games," Washington Sr. said.
"It's not fair to [Thomas] because he does play the game. He's a hard worker, he does all the right things, in the classroom and off the field. He is the first one in the weight room and the last one to leave, he's a great teammate. Those aren't things people get to see. They just get to say, 'he's just playing cause he's coach's son.' That's simply not true. He's earned the right to play," his dad, Ted said.
Thomas isn't immune from it either...he hears things around.
"Yah I mean I hear people say stuff, but you just have to ignore it and go on and know that you got the job because you are the best," Thomas said.