SOUTHLAKE — 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 doesnt hold back when pressed about the games 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:
Whats it like stepping into a season and are there really any differences each year?
I dont sleep very well this time of year, but the night before a game I sleep really well. I dont know why that is. I think its the anticipation, I think its 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 weve 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 its 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 Im blessed to coach. I mean really enjoy them, and Im here to tell you thats 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 havent been paying attention, there are a lot of great programs in the Metroplex. Its extremely hard to win a football game in this state. And then if youre fortunate enough to get into the playoffs, it becomes a weekly thing. Around here, youre playing a top 25 team throughout the entire playoff run. Its no secret, for a long time now, Carroll has had a target on their chest and thats a good thing. We know why that is. We know that the reason were in discussions this year is because of things that happened here 10 years ago, 20 years ago and thats 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 didnt have fall baseball, you didnt have fall track and AAU basketball over the summer. I still dont get that. More is not always better. Im 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 its scary because they play more games and train less. Do I have an answer for that? Right now, no.
Is the UILs exploration of giving additional control of the 7-on-7 programs to head coaches a step in the right direction?
I dont want more control. Weve been accused of a lot of things, but were probably in less control of that than anybody around. I know theres a perception out there but its far from the truth. If they did away with 7-on-7 and AAU basketball and all of that, Id turn hand springs.
Hal Wasson, who has enjoyed much success at Southlake Carroll, said he has lots of respect for Texas football: “It’s extremely hard to win a football game in this state.”
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