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Thoughts from a head coach's wife

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  • Jess, Ty, and Sarah Rutledge. (Courtesy Photo)
    Jess, Ty, and Sarah Rutledge. (Courtesy Photo)

My husband loves your children - truly loves them. He is with your children, arguably, more than you are during football season. He sees them at their best and worst. He supports them off and on the field, and provides them with unwavering support in all their endeavors. He wants them to meet their goals in football and in life. He cares about them as people, as young men. He wants your children to succeed and to experience greatness. He is with your child more than he is with his own. That is the sacrifice he makes to do all of the things he does for your children.

The amount of time that my husband spends away from his family is insurmountable. He has missed milestones in our child’s life. He has missed family birthdays, events, and gatherings. The amount of quality time that I get to spend with him is minimal. During his time at home, he is constantly watching film, drawing up plays, and figuring out what he can do to best prepare your children for the next game. He gives 100% to your children every single day, even if that means his family gets the version of him that is running on fumes. During football season, football comes before everything else. Your child comes before our own and our family. He loves your children.

There is no doubt in my mind that my husband was born to be a football coach. What a sweet gift from God to know in your bones that you were created for such a heavy purpose - shaping boys into good men in a world that so desperately needs them. The hard things that your children go through, with my husband by their side, are shaping them for their future. He believes in them through every win, every loss, every hardship, and every success. His love for them never waivers, no matter what. He loves your children.

My husband holds himself accountable for every mistake, no matter how big or small. For every challenge and error that occurs, he thinks about how he could have prepared your children better to avoid it. He scrutinizes every single millisecond of film and finds areas where he could have done better for your children. He blames himself when something doesn’t go as it should have. He holds on to the accountability and blame so that your children don’t have to. He recognizes that your children don’t deserve to be blamed for the errors they make, so he harbors that for them. The weight he carries and the toll that it takes on him is for your children. No matter how much these things may hurt him, your children are his number one priority, and he would never subject them to the scrutiny he receives when mistakes are made. He loves your children.

I say all of this to you, because it is often easy to forget about the good when things get difficult. All of the successes, all of the progress, all of the growth gets overshadowed when your children don’t walk off the field victorious. I can assure you that my husband is doing everything in his power to allow your children to experience the indescribable feeling of winning a game. Every child deserves to experience that. When the going gets tough, support the coaches like you would support your child. They are on the same team. Believe in the coaches like you believe in your children. They are working together toward the same goal. Show love for your coaches like you do your children. Why? Because they love your children.

Sarah Rutledge is married to Wabaunsee coach Jess Rutledge, who has led the Chargers to a string of the most successful seasons in decades. WHS has lost back-to-back games by two points to two of the best teams in 1A.