This is the fourth part of a series written by the St. Margarets (CA) Offensive Coordinator Robb Fahrion. It is about the preparation of the St. Margarets football team as they prepared for the Division 4 California State Championship!
Wednesday, December 17, 2014 – Special Team’s Day
8:00am, Home Office
As a walk-on coach (meaning I don’t have a job in the building), it is always tough balancing time between football and professional work. I am currently working with a financial consulting company as an associate. I really enjoy the work and love that a lot of what we do is centered around data and people, very similar to football. Coaching football requires many different skills that range from communication skills to analytical skills. I feel the two professions mesh well and allow me to build on my strengths while doing one or the other.
Work allows me some time away from the game during the season. Sometimes getting your mind off of the game allows you to refresh and reset and come back with renewed energy and a new perspective, which could allow you to see things that might have been missed in the past.
3:00pm, St. Margaret’s Football Field
Special teams is one of the best opportunities to flip the momentum of the game. Throughout the year, we have been killers on special teams and have returned upwards of 10 kickoffs/punts. Like offense or defense, special teams requires a lot of practice to dial in the timing, and this is why we spend a whole half a practice working on them.
We run through everything from Kickoff to PAT Block, Hands Team to Punt Return. We make sure all of the bases are covered, our substitutes are identified and our team understands that special teams are a great opportunity for us.
Our kicker also makes our defense’s life much easier. He is attending Stanford to kick and is able to make every team drive 80 yards to score. This is a huge weapon for any level of football and drastically reduces the percentage of team’s scoring drives. This week, he will have to use a special Nike football that was supplied by CIF. Nike purchased the nice sponsorship to get the football on television when teed up for the kickoff. We are having trouble getting the ball into the end zone, which is definitely a little bit concerning.
We work through offense and defense by just dialing in what we do and feel like we are getting more and more ready every day.
Thursday, December 18, 2014 – The Day Before
3:00pm, St. Margaret’s Football Field
Before practice, I get an opportunity to watch my quarterback from last year, Josh Davis, work with QB coach Steve Calhoun. Steve is one of the best around and has worked with many quarterbacks heading to big time colleges, as well as ones preparing for the NFL Combine. Josh looks great throwing the ball and it is amazing to see how much he has grown over the past year.
Today is our walkthrough day and at this point in the season, the work is complete and the finishing touches just need to be put on. We walk through each special team to make sure our depth chart is put together and I run through our offensive plays, especially making sure we run any trick plays and our end of half/end of game hail-mary. I try and keep it loose and let the kids enjoy their last practice ever together.
5:30pm, After Practice Team Meal
After practice, we are blessed with Father Rob’s famous tri-tip dinner that comes accompanied with world famous mac n’ cheese. This meal has become a staple over the past five seasons I have been at St. Margaret’s and it always lives up to the billing. We say our goodbyes and know that the next time we all see each other we will be when we are heading to Stubhub Center for the biggest game any of us have ever been in.
8:00pm, Back at Home
The job of a football coach never begins or ends when practice starts or finishes. When I get home, I know that I still have a lot of work to do to prepare for tomorrow’s game. I want to watch additional film and also need to prepare my paperwork. I put the finishing touches on my play card, finalize the depth chart, chart out our special team’s units and prepare our play log to track our plays.
I sit down to watch film and know that we are in for a huge test. Not seeing a team live always makes it a bit tougher, but added into the equation is that the teams Central Catholic is playing on film are some of the top teams in California. I know we can have some success, but I am more worried about the sustainability of the success.
About the Author
Robb Fahrion is the current Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator and Head JV Coach for the St. Margaret’s Episcopal School in San Juan Capistrano. He has been coaching for eight varsity seasons. During his career, he has been a part of two CIF Championships, one CIF South Bowl Championship, seven league championships and many deep runs into the postseason.
He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by cell phone at 951-218-3523. He welcomes any and all inquiries and questions.