Imagine yourself in the shoes of North Shore HS (TX) head coach Jon Kay the night before going for back-to-back state titles.
You and your staff go from room to room at the hotel doing the customary bed checks while checking in on players and collecting their cell phones for the night. As you go from room to room, phones are given up without incident because the expectation was made clear heading into the game. However, when you get to the room of star running back Zach Evans – the top rated running back in all of high school football according to some recruiting services – he refuses to hand his phone over. Multiple reports share that Evans was asked repeatedly, and refused each time.
What do you do?
After running the decision up the chain of command, Kay and his staff decided to send running back Zach Evans home, meaning they’d take on Duncanville HS (TX) without one of their best players. The decision by the staff generated a lot of discussion on social media leading up to, and during, the game.
North Shore had some guys step up in a big way and were able to prevail 31-17 in front of nearly 50,000 fans. But bigger than that, coach Kay and his staff were able to send an important message that no one person is bigger than what they’re trying to build as a team, and as a program. Perhaps that sentiment is what helped propel them to their second state title in two seasons?
After the game, coach Kay was asked about Evans and the reason he didn’t play, and provided a well composed answer that I think all of us can learn from in this difficult spot for both the coach, the player, and the program as a whole.
— Alex Radow (@alexradow) December 22, 2019