Archive for Tuesday, March 19, 1991

T STOP THINKING FOOTBALL

March 19, 1991

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Norma Purdy may find some of the cleaning hasn't been done when she returns from work at the Kansas Alumni Association this summer.

Dick Purdy, Norma's husband and Lawrence High's football coach, admits dusting is not his forte, especially when there's golf to be played.

"Since my wife works, between the (off-season) conditioning program and the housework, I hope I get some in everyday," he said of his summer golfing plans.

His duties around the house will be more demanding than usual this year. The Purdys, who moved to Lawrence from Lee's Summit, Mo., built a new house and moved in last December.

"I anticipate spending a lot of time on the yard," Purdy said.

Oh, so you're a yard man, huh coach?

"No," he said. "I'd rather play golf."

THE ONE thing that might keep his mind off the links is the Lions' off-season conditioning program. A firm believer in hitting the weights, Purdy instituted the program last summer, and, for a couple of reasons, it's caught hold.

"Of our younger players, we have about 80 percent of next year's squad in the weight room in weight class now," Purdy said. "We're already stronger than we were when we opened two-a-days last fall."

Purdy's belief in weightlifting apparently has rubbed off. And if he didn't make an impression on the Lions, Garden City's players did in last year's 6A state championship game.

"I think this is to the players' credit," he said. "We all talked on the bus coming home (from the title game) about how strong they were. That was probably the best thing that could have happened to the juniors. The seniors were on the field, and they let everybody know how tough it was out there because of the strength differential."

OF COURSE it didn't matter in the end. Lawrence beat the Buffaloes, 9-3, for its second state championship in a row.

After having a few months to reflect, Purdy said he felt fortunate to be one-for-one that is, one season at LHS, one state championship.

"It was our fault as coaches, but we didn't recognize that we were no physical match for them," he said, "so I don't think we went in prepared to play a game of wits."

With the Lions' participation in off-season conditioning so high, it's unlikely they'll be out-weighted next season. It's equally unlikely they'll be out-witted. Purdy, by nature, is already preparing for next season.

"We just watch our kids compete over the winter in wrestling and basketball or in the weight room," he said. "We've revised the depth charts several times already. It's an everyday process, and coaches are notorious for thinking their sports year-round."

PURDY THOUGHT other coaches' sports in during the winter seasons and was a regular at school activities.

"I like to watch our guys compete," he said. "I don't think you can have kids around school and involved in activities enough, because I know they'll be supervised by competent people in a constructive setting."

He certainly was impressed with the job that had been done with his first senior class of Lions.

"This senior group did a good job of making things happen," he said. "They didn't just expect things to happen for them because they played for Lawrence High School."

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