Perhaps a more appropriate post for the fall, when autumn crispness hits the air and high school football lights up small town schools all across America — but I’ll chose it now, completely on the other side of the sun here in springtime. At least the NFL Draft is coming up, right?? .. in Cleveland, no less!
Three cool things about this nice photo of my late maternal uncle, Larry DeVoe as published in a local newspaper.
- It really captures a coach in the middle of a coaching moment — there must be infinite occasions like this between player and coach, but this simple routine exchange gets frozen with Larry on the cusp of some great idea and player postured in a fatigued, but ready to get back in gaze out onto the field.
- I like it when I can fully identify all aspects of an old photo — here, the newspaper grants us all the necessary data. The Saturday publication date necessitates a 1 day delay to find the right high school football Friday, here early in the season in ’88. There’s even a final score as you’d expect. Wellington trounced Oberlin 32-0. Larry is instantly recognizable to me, and the photo usefully identifies the player – more on that in a minute. Oberlin is listed as the away school, so we can locate this to their high school football field. And the context/event is self-obvious.
- Nothing like tracking down the person in the photo and getting a good story in return! So I reached out to the player and he well-remembered this 33 year old photo. Little did I know I’d get a “juicy” bit of history as a thank you:
Your uncle was an awesome dude!! One of my favorites!!
Funny story…. your uncle used to chew tobacco during football practice…. well , when he was done with the chaw he would have it in his hand and say “hey Sutherland” motioning me to catch what was in his hand and throw his nasty chew and I would catch it unknowingly!!! Too funny! He did it all the time..
I’m going to assume that was some kind of character-building tool that only a good coach would understand!
- Any other good stories about Larry and coaching?