Friday, May 25, 2018

Kaden's Gold Glove

Kaden's site came across my desk today, and I wanted to share. One of my all-time favorite movies is Field of Dreams. In particular, the scene where he plays catch with his dad at the end gets me choked up every time. As much as I love football, there is something special about grabbing a glove and throwing a ball around with a parent. Kaden's site has the simple goal of wanting to share that special moment with as many children as possible by recycling old gloves, getting them to folks who might not otherwise have the opportunity. So whether you choose to play catch with a football or some other ball, I thought this a wonderful idea from a group just down the road in Carmel, definitely worth sharing.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

The Danger of Opioids

As a program, we try to pick areas of focus outside of football to try to help our players prepare for the larger game of life. Often, this includes learning even for us coaches. One of our focus topics is Opioid Abuse. I wanted to share a few sobering statistics that were recently passed across my desk...

  • 2016 Accidental Deaths:


    1. Overdose – 63,600
    2. Guns – 38,000
    3. Car Accidents – 37,400


  • More people have died from opioid overdose than in the Vietnam War.
  • The US is 5% of the world’s population but uses 80% of the world’s opioids.
  • Indiana ranks 16th in opioid deaths.
  • Heroin use has doubled in 18–25 year-olds in the last decade.
  • 80% of heroin users started with prescription opioids by the age of 15.
  • Using any substance by age 15 increases the addiction rate 5x due to brain development.
Clearly, you can see why this is an area where we really see value in educating ourselves and our players. For more information, visit: www.overdoselifeline.org.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

USA Football Article

With the focus being on football this past weekend, there was ample opportunity to review the "state of the game" across America. One article caught our attention from USA Today. If you are curious about the national conversation, it is a good read.

In Westfield, we have prided ourselves in being on the forefront of the needed changes within the game. We have pioneered new tackling techniques within the state, as well as employed cutting edge methods for diagnosing and treating head trauma. It has been our hope that, by doing our jobs as coaches and learning how to teach the safest techniques that science can offer for the protection of our players - by keeping player safety at the forefront of our minds - that government intervention will be seen as completely unnecessary, at least in our neck of the woods. We also hope that any parents out there trying to decide whether to allow their child to play football or not can find confidence in putting their child into our hands; that we will always do our utmost to return them in even better condition than when we found them.

We believe very much in our sport and its role within our community. We take our jobs a educators seriously with respect to player safety. If, as a parent or player, you ever have any question about how we accomplish all of this, please do not hesitate to contact us one way or another (there is contact information on this page as well as our various social media outlets), especially if you are on the fence about the role football could play in your child's life. We are very proud and confident to be Rocks.

Friday, January 26, 2018

This Day In Football History

We wanted to share an obscure bit of trivia. Today's Google Doodle celebrates what would have been the 127th birthday of Wilder Penfield. While you may not have known of him, he was a 20th century neurosurgeon who contributed to much of what we know understand about brain function.

Penfield was born in the US but lived most of his adult life in Canada. His list of academic achievements are too long to list, but include Membership in the Royal Society (who also counts among its members Sir Isaac Newton, Sir Charles Darwin, and a dude named Stephen Hawking).


Oh....and here is a picture of him when he played football at Princeton. A sub freshman on the 1911 National championship team (which, according to Google, only allowed 15 points that season), he also was named head coach in 1914 and lead the Tigers to a 5-2-1 record. In the middle of the season, Penfield was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship for the following year, and he was accepted for admission to Merton College, which granted him special permission to defer his entrance until the end of the autumn of 1914 so that he might fulfill his coaching responsibilities at Princeton.

After completion of medical school and embarking upon his career as a medical professional, Penfield came to realize that he could not carry out an effective approach to knowledge of the human brain and make use of that knowledge all by himself. He began to dream of organizing an institute where neurologists, neurosurgeons, and neuro-pathologists would work together with the kind of team work he had learned as football player and coach. This led him to Montreal, Canada, where he joined the medical faculty of McGill University while also working as a surgeon at two different hospitals. If that weren't enough, he would go on to found the Montreal Institute of Neurology which became a respected center for neurological research and treatment worldwide. In his later years, Penfield penned at autobiography entitled No Man Alone, a phrase repeated frequently in the book to underline his emphasis on the team approach to neurological research and treatment.

It's pretty cool to think that maybe the most important neurosurgeon of 20th century played and coached Div 1 football. Not only that, but that the impact the game had on him played a key role in his approach throughout the rest of his life and many achievements.

Happy Birthday, Dr. Penfield!

(For further reading on Wilder Penfield, we found most of our information above in a great article here, as well as a Wikipedia entry here.)

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

2017 IFCA All State Rocks

Congratulations to the following Rocks who were chosen for IFCA All-State honors:

  • Matt Robinson - OL
  • Koby Hauser - DB
  • Colin Caldwell - LB
Very proud to have two seniors and one junior recognized statewide!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

2017 Highlight Video

Great night at the banquet last night honoring this year's team, and in particular the senior class. Once a Rock always a Rock. Lots of good things to look forward to, as well.

We wanted to pass along the 2017 Highlight Video here on the blog. There is also a link on the right hand side of the site, just below the 2017 Season Photos. Feel encouraged to click through and enjoy. Also, if you have additional photos you'd like to share, shoot us an email (found via the Contact Information link). We're happy to add them to the album.

Thank you to everyone who has contributed our football family. We couldn't do what we do with out the continual support from our community.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

#RockReport Sectional I @ Lafayette Jeff

Photo by K. Atkisson
The reality of high school football in the state of Indiana is that, for all but 6 teams, your high school career will end with a loss. And that loss will sting. As coaches, we like to say that if it doesn't sting, then we have done something wrong along the way. With the dedication that it takes to be a Rock, and the culture that has been built through seniors like this class, I feel fortunate to say that last night stung. Your Rocks traveled up to Lafayette to face a Broncho that remains undefeated, ending our season with a heartbreaking 27-24 defeat.

As with most football seasons in Westfield, we were not ready for this one to end. The head coach of Lafayette Jeff provided (perhaps unintentionally) one of the best compliments I have read from an opposing coach. He said (via pre-game J&C article here): "We watch Westfield film when we show our guys how to have fun and celebrate and get excited about the game of football."

It could be said that it is much easier to live out your principles when things are going well, when you are winning. I cannot emphasize enough that, despite things not going their way, this team stuck together and stayed the course that had been set before them by previous Rocks. They strove to reach their full potential with exuberant enthusiasm while valuing brotherhood. They built bonds that I hope will last them a lifetime, while using their platform to have a positive impact on the world around them. In this way, we can truly say that they were able to RISE to the occasion and represent our community with PRIDE.

This year's seniors had very big shoes to fill. Last year, we graduated 40 seniors from a state champion team. Reloading, coming back to defend that championship was a daunting task. It is a testament to the commitment of this year's seniors that our culture and principles stayed strong. In a season filled with adversity, it was also filled with laughter, complicated handshakes, sporadic dancing and, most of all, Family.

To those seniors, thank you. You will most certainly be missed. But remember: Once a Rock, always a Rock.

To the underclassmen and all future Rocks let us be clear: the shoes did not get any smaller. Remember this year's leadership when your own time comes. Remember these seniors and the example they have set.

As always, we are grateful for the support of our fans, community, and the administration. We are sad for the season to end, but we hope that we have made you proud as Your Rocks.
Photo by K. Atkisson