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  • Writer's pictureTerry O'Neil

Warm Reception in New York, Ohio

Tom O'Leary addresses OHSFCA Board of Directors meeting Friday.

Practice Like Pros enjoyed a successful junket last week to New York and Ohio.

First stop was a Thursday presentation in Owego, NY, near Binghamton, to the Board of Directors of the New York State High School Football Coaches Association (NYSHSFCA).  At the finish of Terry O'Neil's presentation, NYSHSFCA Executive Director Lyle Dixon asked the Board for a verdict.  Members raised their hands in unanimous approval and asked O'Neil to present to their 19th annual NYSHSFCA Clinic, February 7-9 at Turning Stone Casino and Resort, Verona, NY.  This will be PLP's second consecutive booking at the clinic.

The next day, Friday, O'Neil presented to the Board of Directors of the Ohio High School Football Coaches Association (OHSFCA) in Columbus.  Executive Director Jerry Cooke instructed Board members to gather reaction from constituents in their respective regions and be prepared for a lengthy discussion at the next Board meeting, February 6. Ohio is the state hardest hit by the recent decline in high school football participation, having lost 12,390 players in the past eight years.


Highlight of the session was an appearance by Tom O'Leary, Columbus native and current resident, part of the famous "SOS" secondary (Shoen, O'Leary, Smithberger) on Notre Dame's 1966 National Championship team.  O'Neil introduced him with a 52-year-old film clip of O'Leary scoring a touchdown against Duke during Notre Dame's undefeated 1966 season.  Retired after a 32-year career with Ford Motor Company, O'Leary inspired the OHSFCA Board with these words:

"I'm grateful for this opportunity to address the Board because you are the decision-makers, the keepers of the game, the stewards of the game.  In your hands are the 42,000 boys who play Ohio high school football.  The participation numbers are frightening.  I'm concerned about the the game we all love, but I know this:  Practice Like Pros is the real deal.  Practice Like Pros is the future of high school football." 

Reaction to 11/30 MHSFCA Appearance

Thanks for presenting this morning to the Michigan Coaches' meeting.  Your information is spot on and, if practiced, will go a long way in saving our great sport.  Please email the videos you spoke of.

--Shawn Griffith, Head Football Coach, Constantine (MI) High School

I think the key distinction is that you define full contact as when players are taken to the ground.  Right now in our state, "thud" practice tempo is considered full contact.  The thing we all really liked is that your definition cleans up the confusion so that everyone understands what full contact really is.  I think we all agree on the concept of better practice protocols.  I truly appreciate your passion for this subject and work on providing video and structure to our coaches!

--Brad Bush, Assistant Principal/Athletic Director, Chelsea (MI) High School

2019 First Quarter to Be Announced

Practice Like Pros' appearances for the first quarter of 2019 are being confirmed and will be announced in our last newsletter of the year.  As usual, the schedule will be loaded for the winter clinic season.

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