The ASCO Football Classic may kick off Saturday at 7 p.m., but the preparations have already begun. Johnny Taylor, head coach of the "Blue" team, conducted his squad's first practice Wednesday afternoon at Idalou High School and says it feels good to be on the same sideline with players he was coaching against during football season.
"There are a lot of good players out here, a lot we played against," said the state champion coach. "Patrick Barrio, from Littlefield—we're going to give him the ball a bunch. He's done a lot of hard runs against us, so we're going to see how he works for us this time."
Barrio, a running back for the Blue team who led the Littlefield Wildcats to a 10-2 record this year, says it's an honor to be coached by Taylor.
"He knows what he's talking about; he's a real smart man. I'm glad this is his last game, and I get to play for him," Barrio said.
Taylor offered his resignation in early January after winning his first state title with the Idalou Wildcats. However, the resignation isn't effective until June 30, and his players are happy to be playing for him for his final game.
"He told us at the hotel…this is his last game, so we better win it for him; can't end in a loss."
The Blue team will practice at Idalou High School four more times Thursday and Friday before taking the field for the annual ASCO Football Classic Saturday night.
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