For Carroll’s Wasson, football is less sleep, more fun

Posted Monday, Aug. 19, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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Entering his seventh season as head coach of Southlake Carroll, Hal Wasson is anything but shy when it comes to football.

And when measuring his success – a head coaching record of 190-96-2, a 16-0 state title season in which he was named Max Preps National Coach of the Year in 2011, and teams that have produced many college prospects – Wasson has a particular insight to a program with eight UIL football titles.

The 56-year-old Kerens native doesn’t hold back when pressed about the game’s history, its evolution and its future. Wasson, who is 65-13 at Carroll, took time out of training camp to talk about another season on the sidelines:

What’s it like stepping into a season and are there really any differences each year?

I don’t sleep very well this time of year, but the night before a game I sleep really well. I don’t know why that is. I think it’s the anticipation, I think it’s the hard work you put into it. You do all the stuff that you need to do between now and game-time and then you kind of evaluate that. I think we tell ourselves that we’ve done everything humanly possible to get ready for that game and give our team a chance to be successful.

As much tradition and success as you find here, how do you keep your kids smiling and laughing and keeping all this in perspective?

The game of football is pressure and we talk about that. But what we do here is not incorporate stress. Now, how do you do that? I think it’s how you train and go about your business. We invest a lot in the mental part of the game and focus heavily on trust. About three years ago, I made a choice to really enjoy every day that I’m blessed to coach. I mean really enjoy them, and I’m here to tell you that’s a very hard thing to do.

What kind of reaction do you think your program has to being a standard bearer for the high school game in Texas?

First of all, there are a lot of great teams and programs in Texas and if they haven’t been paying attention, there are a lot of great programs in the Metroplex. It’s extremely hard to win a football game in this state. And then if you’re fortunate enough to get into the playoffs, it becomes a weekly thing. Around here, you’re playing a top 25 team throughout the entire playoff run. It’s no secret, for a long time now, Carroll has had a target on their chest and that’s a good thing. We know why that is. We know that the reason we’re in discussions this year is because of things that happened here 10 years ago, 20 years ago and that’s all great too.

When you consider high school football 20 or 30 years ago versus now, where do you see the game 10 years from now?

As far as Carroll goes, we have incredible facilities here. I think the biggest thing is that now, you have so many choices compared to then. And as far as athletics in general, you have a great number of other opportunities outside of football as well. Back then it was football season and you didn’t have fall baseball, you didn’t have fall track and AAU basketball over the summer. I still don’t get that. More is not always better. I’m really concerned for kids today because at some point in time, your body needs to rest. At some point in time, you have to train your body, you have to condition your body. You need to put on that muscle. For me it’s scary because they play more games and train less. Do I have an answer for that? Right now, no.

Is the UIL’s exploration of giving additional control of the 7-on-7 programs to head coaches a step in the right direction?

I don’t want more control. We’ve been accused of a lot of things, but we’re probably in less control of that than anybody around. I know there’s a perception out there but it’s far from the truth. If they did away with 7-on-7 and AAU basketball and all of that, I’d turn hand springs.

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