Friday Night Life

Friday Night Life

Haley Settle, Editor

As a coach’s kid I grew up religiously attending football games as if my presence was recorded. I was always the only kid cheering on the sidelines that knew what happened when the referee threw his yellow flag on the turf. I have my dad, Sunnyvale Head Football Coach and Athletic Director, John Settle to thank.

As 21 seasons and 100 head coach career wins have flown by, each season has been different for my family. My mom, being a coach’s wife, has learned the ins and outs. She lives by one quote in the fall: “We interrupt this marriage for football season.” Since my dad devotes his time and energy into a seven day week game plan, she has learned how to be his encourager. She could write a book about how to ignore fans complaining about the play that my dad has called or how to deal with people telling her that my dad should do something different on the field. She has learned how to appreciate the wins and deal with the loses. Luckily, she has always enjoyed Friday Night Lights and supporting whatever team my dad was coaching. Overall, my mom has enjoyed supporting and getting to know different families and players over each year.

At age five, my senior brother started standing on the sidelines at my dad’s football games. He was given the title “Ballboy,” and allowed to hold the extra footballs and throw them to the referees when they needed them. As Ben was growing up all he wanted to do was be on the field and play for my dad. At the start of middle school, Ben got the opportunity and has loved every second of it. Throughout the four years of Ben’s high school football career, he has played center on the O-line, started on varsity for two years, served on the players’ council, been nominated as a captain, and he has received multiple district awards. As the Raiders head into playoffs this year, it is different for my family. Every game could be the last game that my dad and brother could be on the field together.     

As for me, I have watched my dad coach since I was born. I learned how to celebrate wins and find a friends house to go to if we lose. I have grown up sitting at my brother’s football games and cheering him on from the stands. This year, I became a varsity cheerleader and have gotten to stand on the sidelines and cheer for him and dad at the same time. It has been such a cool experience to see my dad coach my brother throughout his 6 years of football since middle school. Knowing this is Ben’s last year, my dad has turned up the intensity and realizes that any game we play could be his last.

What some people don’t know is how superstitious my dad really is. When my brother was five, he found a silver dollar with my mom’s birth year on it. He has carried it in his back pant pocket at games ever since. He wears the same pants to every game, even when they have a hole in them. Every Friday, my parents eat lunch at the same restaurant and order the same exact meal until football season is over.

My family has enjoyed every second of coaching, supporting, cheering, playing and surrounding our lives with football. We are so grateful for the life that we have!

Come support the Raiders – our extended family – as we beat Farmersville in round 2 of the playoffs at 7:30 on Friday at Wilkerson- Sanders stadium in Rockwall! TSN!