Thursday, November 8, 2012
Hectic but happy day
It was a sleepless weekend for John Danley, head coach of the Byhalia High School football team. But there were reasons to celebrate, too.
Early Friday, he was at the hospital. At about 7:30 a.m., his wife Alicia gave birth to their baby girl, Khloe.
Then at 7:30 that night, he was on the home sideline, leading his Indians to a first-round win in the Class 3A state playoffs.
“Friday was a long day but a special day,” he said. “It was a win-win. Our baby was healthy and then we got the big playoff victory.”
He and his wife had known she was going to be admitted that morning.
“I told my guys before that last regular season game (versus North Panola), ‘you can’t lose, because I can’t afford to be on the road,’ ” Danley said.
“Everything worked out as planned.”
A win over North Panola secured a home game in the opening round of the playoffs versus Mooreville November 2, the day of the baby’s birth.
After Khloe was born at a hospital in Memphis, Tenn., Danley was back at the school at 3 p.m. Friday, making final preparations for the Indians’ battle with Mooreville.
As soon as his team had blanked the Troopers 35-0 and he celebrated with his Indians, he returned to the hospital to be with his wife and baby girl.
“I’m not going to lie to you,” he said. “It’s hard to sleep in the hospital, with the nurse coming in every so often and then bringing the baby in, too.”
Sunday afternoon, when I telephoned, he had brought Alicia and Khloe home, both doing very well.
He was about to try to get some rest before watching film on his next opponent.
“Honestly, I couldn’t tell you how much sleep I’ve gotten this weekend,” Danley said. “I’m running on fumes.”
He can’t take any time off work – no rest for the weary.
“There’s another big week ahead,” Danley said. “I’m going back to work tomorrow (Monday).”
The Indians travel to Booneville this Friday night for a second round playoff contest versus the Blue Devils, a team which eliminated them last year in the opening round.
“The kids are fired up about the rematch. It has kind of lined up like we thought it would.
“If we take care of the football, we can control our own destiny.”
I typically contact coaches in the county on Saturday morning, getting the most valuable players for the Friday night games and other information.
I sent Coach Danley a text before leaving for a day with family in Alabama.
Cell phone coverage at my sister’s house in Alabama is minimal.
When we got into the car to come home late Saturday night, after watching the exciting Alabama win over LSU, and drove just a mile or so, my phone “beeped” with a message.
It was from Coach Danley.
“Sorry it took so long – at the hospital.”
Then I was curious – wondering who was sick.
I asked, and he responded, “Baby was born yesterday.”
“Congratulations” was my reply.
Coach Danley’s first-round Friday was a successful one to say the least – from the hospital to the field.
Here’s hoping the second-round Friday isn’t quite as hectic but equally successful when it comes to football.
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