It started out normal enough, with me dragging myself out of bed and through the morning ritual. I drove my bus route and went to my home away from home – Western Plains High School in Ransom, Kan.
The basketball teams were preparing to play that evening, so I was thinking about the game and my role as the assistant coach of the boys’ team, which primarily consists of keeping statistics.
As soon as I stepped foot into the high school, though, everything changed.
Western Plains Unified School District 106 Superintendent Kerry Lacock called me into his office and dropped a bombshell on me.
At Monday night’s Board of Education meeting, the board had named me as the interim head football coach at WPHS, home of the Bobcats.
I was stunned. I couldn’t believe it, but I quickly accepted. I had always thought it would be cool to coach football. I just never thought I would get the opportunity.
But just telling me what the good news wasn’t all Lacock had planned. Instantly he laid out a few tasks that he said needed to be dealt with. First and foremost, new jerseys had to be selected because it was footballs turn to get new gear.
I conferred with a few players who were going to be on the team next year, and a couple designs were picked. The sales representative from a jersey company took down the information and said he’d be in touch.
My head was spinning. I was already helping make decisions. It was exhilarating.
Then I began to talk to students. I wanted to get commitments from some of the males about if they were going to play football next year. I received a lot of positive answers.
Things were steam rolling and word was spreading throughout the school like wildfire.
Since I run the sports Web site for WPHS, The Bobcat Nation, I knew I needed to post something about the coaching appointment.
The awkward thing was I had to write about myself. I didn’t go as far as interviewing myself, though. I just talked to Lacock about things.
Here is the brief story I posted:
During Monday night’s Western Plains Unified School District 106 meeting in Bazine, Kan., the board made a decision to change up the leadership for the Bobcat football program.
The board named Todd Vogts – a Western Plains High School paraeducator, bus driver, substitute and assistant boys’ basketball coach – as the interim gridiron head coach.
The position was offered to and accepted by Vogts because the football head coaching job was vacant due the ending of the previous coaching term.
Superintendent Kerry Lacock said the announcement was being made public today. He said the move to bring Vogts in now was made in order to dispel any rumors that Western Plains High School would have no football team next year.
Lacock said WPHS would have a team and that he was looking forward to the coming season.
“We’re excited about this new page in the story of the Bobcat football program,” he said.
I received a few comments from my journalist friends who thought it was funny that I wrote a story about myself. I acknowledged the oddity of it, but it was the only way it could be done.
Even all this was taking place, I still had to help coach and do my job as a paraeducator. It was hard. I was still reeling from suddenly being thrust into a coaching position.
As the idea settled in, I became incredibly excited, though. I am so thankful for the opportunity. I can’t wait to get started . . . well, more so than I already am. I’m currently preparing to inventory the supplies that are on hand and get the helmets checked out to ensure they are safe for the coming season, and I have to keep some of my focus on the task at hand, which is the basketball team.
Following the game, a few people who had heard the news of my coaching appointment came up and voiced their support and good wishes. It felt good.
As soon as I announced the news on my social networks, I had several people ask about my mobile disk jockey service, Lucky Se7en Mobile DJ Services, and what the future of it holds.
Honestly, I don’t know, but right now I’m not planning any drastic changes. I’m going to keep it going. I love djing, and I will find a way to make it work.
Coaching will be a fun and exciting adventure. I played in high school, but we played 11-man football. The WPHS Bobcats play 8-man. It will be a different game than I’m used to. Even so, I’m beyond stoked to have this opportunity. I can’t wait for summer to roll around so we can really get to work.