The Value of Peanut Butter

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“We never know the worth of water till the well is dry.” ― Thomas Fuller

Many of us have experienced hard times in our life.  I remember a few times in life that I would have given anything for a cold glass of milk and a peanut butter sandwich.  There is no doubt that at times, nothing tastes better, especially to a starving teenage boy.  Of course, when isn’t a teenage boy starving?  Allow me to take this opportunity to introduce you to some special young men that I believe many in our community are very proud of.  It is the hard working gentlemen in grades 7-11 in the off-season football program.

These guys quietly put in some very hard work, some even doing extra work and giving their best to represent you next fall on the gridiron.  These young men are your family or neighbor.  For many of you, they are an integral part of your life in some form or fashion.  Some of them have plenty and some may be in need, regardless, these are our boys, our team, representing our town.  Like it or not, we are truly one big family and if you are an alumni of our beloved school, you own a piece of the school, this town, and this team.  We appreciate you and all your help and support.

One of the key goals that head football coach Tim Cothran has continued to implement is a good off-season program.  One that emphasized weight training as well as speed and flexibility.  After much strategizing in the coach’s office the plan was made to do our best to improve their nutritional training as well.  Otherwise, all their hard work would be minimized.  Hard to beat milk and peanut butter for that task.

Now as you are all aware of, it can be quiet difficult to get a teenager to eat properly.  So we felt we needed to be proactive regarding our athletes.  We make it mandatory for each athlete to eat and drink his portion before leaving for the day.

Another key point that we discussed was financing for our little endeavor.  We thought the best way to handle this was to every athlete to bring a dollar.  Of course every once in a while the till will run a little shy and some anonymous person will help us out.  In this day and age though, it seems that at times a dollar is a difficult task.  With household budgets running close to the red every week, we understand that even to scratch out a dollar can be difficult.

Our hopes in writing this little article is two-fold.  First, if you are the parent or guardian of one of our athletes, keep trying your best to make them eat right.  Remind them to “feed the machine” and that by eating it will maximize all their hard work.  Like the old saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child, so we need all the help we can get.  Second, if you are in the community and want to help our program to be the best we can be, contact Coach Cothran.

“These donations are vital to our off-season football diet needs,” stated Cothran.

Any and all donations of milk, bread, peanut butter, money, or anything else we can use to make these guys the best will be appreciated beyond words.

We are proud to say that after every weight day (Monday, Wednesday, Friday) we make every athlete eat a peanut butter sandwich and drink a cup of milk (with exception obviously to food allergies).  By our estimates, the athlete is getting approximately 20 grams of protein per serving.  Now this is nowhere near the total amount of protein needed but it is a good “shot” of protein in a necessary time where their bodies need it most.

As coaches, we have such a small window to impact their health and development.  We need your help.  This is as much your team as anyone’s.  The name Mansfield is across the front of their jerseys.  They play for you, the school, and our community.  Borrowing from Thomas Fuller’s quote, we will never know the value of peanut butter until our young athletes have become old men and the well has run dry.  Now is the time to develop these young men, now is the time to make them bigger, faster, and stronger.  Now is the time.  Please, help us to make them the best they can be.

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