Clinton football coach and friend of the show Judd Boswell stops by to share his insights into the 2021 high school season and what it’s like to head into another uncertain season.

Stream all episodes here.

Tyler: Hello and welcome to the career letter sports podcast. I’m one half of your hosting crew. Tyler Cleveland, Jordan balm, my other half. Ricky. How are you, dad? I’m fine, buddy. How are you doing? Okay. Doing okay. Uh, had a good weekend getting a little bit closer to football season. I know you’re excited as I am.

Rick: I am. I’m excited and somewhat cautious. Personal mist about how it’s going to go right now. But, um, I’m hoping we were able to play a football season. Uh, the numbers that we keep getting every day are worse and 

Tyler: worse. Yeah. Well, on a lighter note, our guests today, Somebody who’s also a little excited and a little anxious about football season.

We got our buddy Judd Boswell, the head coach at Clinton high coming in one of our all-time favorite coaches. Uh, guy’s been around, you know, since his first year for us in 2005. I think his career record now is, uh, right at 1 36 and 64. So what’s that like a 67% clip? I’m pretty, pretty 

Rick: damn good. Nearly 70% judge a football coach.

He’s a really. You know, going back to those, those, that forest, uh, uh, I know we had one team thing. It was 2010 that they scored 550 points and loud 50 ran the table 15 or no. And another 

Tyler: one of those loose full boys. 

Rick: Yeah. I don’t know what it is about Louis for like put out coaches right. And left. 

Tyler: Okay.

Well let’s not delay it any longer. Let’s get right into it. Today, we’re joined by Clinton head coach, Judd Boswell. One of our recognized favorite coaches, Judd. How are you doing, 

Judd: man? I’m really, really great. Uh, very glad to be a part of greatness sitting here with you and Mr. Rick. 

Tyler: Well, at least half of that’s true, but I really appreciate you joining us.

I know you’re busy these days. We are now. 10 10 days, uh, away from the designated start time for high school football. Can you just kind of tell us how things are going for you right now? 

Judd: No. Well, it’s really, it’s really nine for us because we have it w we play on a Thursday night and we have a, we’ve got that countdown clock on the, on the wall, in the dressing room.

Things are going good. It’s um, you know, there’s a sense of normalcy for. Uh, a couple of weeks there and then bam, all these different numbers come back in. And so you have to go back kind of halfway on lock down and, and really do the, the, the small things that actually got us through last year. And, uh, our kids have been great.

They’ve had a really good summer and, uh, looking forward to see what this group can do. Uh, 

Tyler: Yeah, we’ll get into the COVID a little bit, but I want to start with just your team. I mean, you know, can you tell me a little bit about what you got coming back? And some of the guys are really excited? Well, 

Judd: we have, uh, on my office, I was told on the offensive front, we’ve got all of those.

All five of them, most of them started all of them had significant play in time, up until. Uh, the end of November last year, and I played in some really big ball games. You know, we, we did lose, uh, we had a quarterback named Caitlin. He was a six, eight offensive player of the year. And he was a huge part of the success that we had, uh, losing him to hurt and get to start a new guy.

But, but that guy played in, uh, however many ballgames, 13 ball games last year, he played wide receiver and his name’s Jordan, but T uh, and he’s done a really good job of, of coming on and, and doing the things that, that, uh, we’ve asked of him and his growth has been, it’s been a really good for the past, uh, three weeks.

Tyler: Oh, your offense was so much fun to watch last year. Cause it seemed like Kayla just kind of pulled all the right levers and especially down the stretch. I mean, I don’t know how many people had you guys playing for a north state title last year? 

Judd: It wasn’t any, I can answer that question, but he did, you know, we lived in that.

We talk about that all the time. We lived on, uh, third downs last year, man. Um, those guys, Carson de young and Caleb. And even Jordan, but T that, the quarterback now, uh, and some of those other receivers, man, they did an unbelievable job of convert some huge third downs. And we might’ve lived on third and medium, third and long.

Uh, those guys, their, their completion rate was really, really good. Yeah, 

Tyler: your defense just keeps getting better too. I was looking at the numbers this morning. I think you’ve allowed fewer and fewer points every season. Uh, so you gotta be happy with the 

Judd: way that’s trending. Yeah, we’re looking, we’re looking forward.

We go, you know, we, we’ve got, uh, three young guys coming in from the 10th grade, his defensive, when we were, I thought we were really good up front last year. Uh, these guys they’re they’re young, but, but they have a chance to be. Uh, really, really special, I think. And, uh, secondary wise linebackers, w w we got most of our linebackers back.

Uh, those guys are doing really good, very athletic, physical, smart football players. Uh, on the back end. We’ve got two, two guys coming back from last year and Deandre Kelly and. Bryce Evans. So, so we’re real excited about that and there’s going to be some, there’s going to be some growing pains. I’m sure along the way.

Uh, but, but where they are right now, we’re really excited to, to just see, uh, where they can go and how they jailed and kind of meshed together a couple of years 

Rick: ago. Judge, you told me, I can’t remember. Seems like two years ago may have been three. You told me you had a real special class. Coming up my signal, like they were in junior high.

That’s right. Yeah. W what class is that? 

Judd: And where are they now? You know, we, we went through and I’ll tell you this. And I’m, I’m a huge believer in this, and it’s held true. Uh, for, for however many years, I’ve been a head coach. You know, what, what these guys do in, in eighth and ninth grade, you can just about bank on it.

That’s what they go end up doing their senior year. So we went through a stretch after 16. We had a group, the group after 16, they did not win any ball games in eighth or ninth grade. The group after that just gets better. The route after that one, two ballgames in eighth and ninth grade. And then the group after that, I think they want to combined three ball games in eighth and ninth grade.

So you’re sitting there and you’re like, You know, uh, three groups that, that just for whatever reason, you know, talent wise, they were a little bit, especially in, in this league. But the flip side of that is we have, you know, we just, with, with Kayla Miller net group, they, they won the little six championship.

So here’s our senior year and they’re sitting there and they’re playing at the north half championship. Uh, the group after them, the, the seniors this year, They won the little six. So, uh, the group after that, that’s the good group. That’s the junior group. We’re a junior heavy team. Those dudes are, they’re a little different they’re, uh, they like to play they’re, they’re athletic, they’re smart.

They’re doing what they’re supposed to do in school. And I think some of the teachers probably said that was the worst group to ever come through Clinton as far as being in the classroom. So there’s pretty good football players that that’ll kind of tell you that as well or how to 

Rick: it’s hard. I know to compare one group to another, but how do they compare that to 2016 

Judd: class?

I think the junior group, I think they’re complemented well with the group. That’s behind them as sophomores. I think, uh, they have a chance they don’t, they don’t have that, that. Once in a generation player in that group, but I tell you what they do have, they’ve got, they’ve got the skill guys. They’ve got the lineman.

Uh, and to be honest, they, they have a really good mentality about playing football. They play it the right way. They’re physical. They like to contact. They, they like to practice. They, they, they just do everything kind of how you want it to do. 

Rick: Yeah. That 2016 team Tyler, we were talking about earlier, one of the.

Teams period that I’ve seen in Mississippi. With the best player that I’ve 

Tyler: ever seen. Yeah. I mean, you know, especially as cam was, there were so many other, I mean, you know, cam white and I mean, you know, there’s a barrier. I mean, just when you look back on that, I mean, it’s like just to have that much talent, uh sure, sure.

Must’ve been nice 

Judd: officially. It was. And I’m telling you, we, we were not very good defensively. I think we were good. We were good enough. You know, w we gave up a good many points, but we outscored, uh, the rest of them. And, and, uh, you know, off of that team, you have a Sydney Wales, Sydney, Wales is a big offensive tackle.

Unbelievable, unbelievable story about that kid, but he’s at UAB now. And he was, he was just named the other Dave to the, what is it called? The Outland watch for college USA. He is one heck of a. Person. And he’s probably one of my most favorite kids I’ve ever been around. And, uh, you know, when he was at Mississippi Gulf coast, Chad Huff said the same thing.

He’s like Joe that’s by far my favorite kid. Um, and I think, uh, the coaches at UAB, I think they, they kind of feel the same way, so that team was loaded, but, but it was kind of loaded on the offensive side, more so than the defensive side. But, um, 

Rick: it was, it was a lot better team. Defensive team when cam was playing in the corner.

Judd: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. He might a little bit of difference when, you know, I think, I think probably one of the better, the better defenses we’ve had at Clinton was, uh, was 14. Uh, When, when they were a sophomore, that was a sophomore Rupe. Uh, we got beat by south Panola at south Panola, had a chance to win it right there at the end, it going in to score.

And we got a hold and penalty that caught it back and, uh, backed us up to about the 15 yard line. And I think the next play we threw interception and that was at the end of the game. So, uh, they were, we were really good defensively that year as well. I just hope that we can start trending back in that way and start playing a little bit better defense.

Tyler: When you get a little bit of help over there. I wanted to talk about, uh, Tyler Peterson. I know, joined your staff. Can you just kind of talk about how he’s been since he got there and what he’s brought to the table for you guys? And 

Judd: Tyler has done a great job in the short time he’s been there, toddlers.

Uh, he’s doing the offensive line and, uh, You know, it, it’s always good to have, uh, somebody that’s been in it and, and understands the, some of the game day decisions. Some of the, some of the things leading up to that and, and Tyler’s done a good job and, you know, uh, the defense coordinator, Heimer, Morgan, he was the head coach.

When I left forest, he took over at forest and about three years in, I was able to hire him here. My offensive coordinator from forest Lee Martin. He was the head coach. Uh, like, uh, then one of the Rankin county schools, smaller schools than the Ady there. So those guys having that experience, um, man, that’s, that’s unbelievable for, for, for me because they take a lot off of my plate and, uh, you know, I don’t, I don’t have to worry if I have to leave and I have something to do with, with, uh, anything outside of football.

If I have to leave at some point, they’ve got it pretty much handled. Tyler’s unbelievable, man. He’s done a great job coming in and. Super pumped to have him there. And I think he’s kind of glad to be there as well, little refresher course, and just, just, uh, take a little bit of the stress off of his plate.

And, and I wish somebody would take the stress off. 

Tyler: That’s my favorite. It’s one of my favorite Bobby Hall stories as he comes in after a big game. And he goes, you’re talking to his assistant coach and he goes, boys, you know what made me look good tonight? And you know how I like to look good. 

Judd: And I love coach hall, man, coach Hall’s a dude is see something special for sure.

Tyler: Um, so Jared, I mean, how’s it been? I mean, I, you know, I know last year, We kind of didn’t know what to expect going into the season with COVID and, and I mean, how’s it been this year as compared to last year? And, and what are some of the things that you guys are doing to try to stay on the football field?

Judd: Well, it’s been, you know, last year it was, I think everybody was so scared, you know, going into the year and in my you’re sitting there. You’re checking people in it’s a lot more, it was a lot more of accountability system than, than anything else because every day the kids bought into it. But, but every day you’re, you’re taking temps.

You’re writing it down. Uh, you’ve got the mask we’re separating, we’re doing practice and. And shifts of like 12 minutes being in the group and the groups were small. So, um, we would try to have 10 in this group, 10, 10, you know, we split it up between the coaches and in the summertime, you know, I felt like we got a lot of work done.

I felt like we probably got more work done and we were more efficient with some of the things that we were. Then the parents, the community members, uh, everybody that was kind of around, you were in your own little bubble, you know, you’ve seen it on TV, you’ve seen and heard people talk about it, but, but the parents did a really good job man, of, of, of taking care of their key is not letting them go out and do different things and being in big groups.

And, uh, and our kids did a really good job of that last year, this year, going into it. You really didn’t have to worry about it until about three weeks ago. And then them out of the blue here comes all these man where we’re just come from, you know? Um, and then you, you, you hear the stories of, okay. It’s affecting kids.

Okay. Well, number one, that’s scary in itself. Uh, number two, having to. Hey, man, we’ve got to have that mask on. Anytime we’re inside, we’ve got to do all this. So you kind of throw an audible in there and you have to rethink everything that you do. Um, even the school districts, the, the, the, the school board, the administration, everybody’s trying to figure this out and.

Nobody really has the answer, but all we can do is try to try to take the precautions that, that we follow last year and put those back in place. And, and man, just, just hope for the best. Yeah. You’ve got three young kids too. Absolutely. Yeah, man. I mean, we went to, we went to church and we walked in and the Boswell bunch, man, we were all were messed up.

You know what I mean? I mean, my wife, we, we did the vaccination, uh, but we got the younger kids and, and at the end of the day, Whether it’s protecting us or protecting them, but at the end of the day, I mean, if we’re, if we’re going to wear my ass, man, let’s wear my ass. I’m fine with it. Whatever we have to do to be productive and number one, to take care of the kids and, and yeah, you’re exactly right.

The three children in school, school, age. They will get their as pop. If they think about taking that mask off at this point, how do you 

Rick: talk to your players and their parents about vaccination? What do you, what do you, can you do as a coach? 

Judd: You can’t do anything really. I don’t guess. Uh, but you know, I mean, and everywhere is going to be different, but like three weeks ago, I mean, we were just sitting there and I asked him like, Hey guys, I said, you know, we’re sitting here and these numbers are starting to spike.

How many of you guys were vaccinated, just, I just wanted to see and you know, and all the big dudes, all the linemen, she mandated a joke, stole their hand up very quick. And then some of the skill guys, you know, uh, some of them had it and then some of them didn’t, well, I did it. What’s the day I did it Friday.

I asked him again Friday, and that number has gone significantly up where, or there’s a lot of, a lot of our kids are vaccinated and know. You can sit there and we can host a, Hey athletes. If you want to get vaccinated, we’re going to have something, uh, on the school campus. And you’re more than welcome to come.

You don’t have to, but you’re more than welcome to and give them that option. Um, we can, we can do things like that, but as far as saying, Hey, my enlists let’s get vaccinated. Uh, you know, we’re, we’re not going to say that because obviously that’s not the right thing to do, but. Kind of lead by example, I would say, you know?


Rick: yeah. It’s, uh, it’s just unchartered territory. It’s just, we’re, we’re dealing with something that, 

Judd: and that’s, that’s what you think is, is, you know, starting last year, we’d go through that whole year in man. We get to, we get to February, we get to March, April, you kind of like there’s some light at the end of the tunnel is coming.

And it rocks on. And man, you’re great during the summertime. And then bam, you know, the, the, the end of July, the first of all of us, you’re sitting here like, oh my God, we’re breaking, we’re breaking records for numbers that are, that are coming out now. And yeah. I’m not saying you didn’t have to worry about it, but it just kinda hits you, you know, out of the blue pretty 

Tyler: much.

I mean, you know, once I got vaccinated, I had pretty much ditched the mask until, I mean, unless I was going somewhere into a big crowd or something, but, uh, you know, that summer was pretty nice. It’s a nice little reprieve. Um, 

Judd: but you gotta think too, it was 18 months of a lot. They wouldn’t socializing.

They were not going out. They were not doing things. And it’s like going on vacation. We went on vacation this summer and I was talking to somebody and he was like, man, um, I’m trying to be really nice to some of these people as like maybe a lady was fussing at her husband about, Hey, I want the umbrella over here instead of here.

And he was like, You know, he said, coach, I got to think that these people had been on vacation. They had been out of the house in 18 months. So I’m trying to help them out. And you know, it makes a lot of sense when it comes to that. 

Tyler: Oh, and well, I did want to hit on the MHSA new rule yesterday. The teams can practice even if their school goes virtual.

So that’s one less thing you gotta worry about. If, if Clinton co school district did decide to do. To, uh, you know, virtual learning. I mean, but until then it was schools or teams were not allowed to practice at the schools were all virtual. Really going to bleed into the season because of the 14 practice acclimation rule.

Can you just kind of explain that? I mean, your experience with that rule and how important those 14 practices 

Judd: are? Well, I mean, number one, trying to stay in shape that’s that’s, uh, you get about two weeks off of not doing anything and depending on the kid to go out there and run by theirself, that’s probably not going to happen, but being able, just say you do go virtual because you saw it last year.

And even the teams that some of the teams that we played, you know, those guys were all for like 10 days and you talking about a huge different of time and then trying to get back on, on schedule and, and, and everything else. That’s kind of a disaster. So at least if the way I’m looking at this, it kind of puts the ball back in the school district court.

You know what I mean? So if say, say Mr. Rick, they shut us down and. We’re going to stop everything. You can’t come to school. She got to go virtual. All right. Well, you know what? You football guys can come out here and practice and do all that. I mean, is that, is that going to throw a monkey wrench in, in, in some school districts are going to let that happen and some are probably not.

Um, but, but definitely. Uh, if they’re all virtual, um, I’m sure there’s some last year that they didn’t see their kids during the day and just told them to be at practice. And that probably happened. So, uh, it’s a matter of fact, I probably know it did, but I think it’s very important because if you sit there and you shut down for 10 days, all right, well, that’s a ballgame, that’s two ball games.

And then aren’t, you got 14 more days to, to reacclimate yourself to the, to the elements outside. You know, you’re looking at four weeks and. You miss you miss one? I mean, I can go back to last year, but like in our conference, we’re sitting there and you’re have a south Panola team is five and two, five and two, and still wasn’t assured a playoff spot.

Well, we beat Stoffel that let south Panola in, but they were five and two in our division. And on the verge, they, they could have missed the playoffs period at that point. So one week, two weeks are very, very important. When it comes to wins and losses and how far you can go, but you start talking about four weeks, man.

You’re you’re just out there playing for, uh, bumps and Gail. Yeah. I mean, 

Tyler: the way the rule was, I mean, you could conceivably miss three or four games at the beginning of the season, have two others canceled during the season through no fault of your own and, and end up missing the playoffs and, you know, I think everybody kind of points to start for her.

And what happened to them last year? I mean, they were on paper, just loaded going into the season and then just got decimated by the 

Judd: absolutely. And that’s, you know, that was one of the games that I was talking about. You know, they may have played the week before they played us, but they had still been all for, for however many weeks.

They missed two weeks or whatever it was. And. Do you know that I at the time was awfully, we’re not the same team and it’s got to affect you mentally, especially for 15 to 15 to 18 year olds. Off the charts when it comes to what world they’re going to wake up in that day. But you, you take them out of their routine.

It’s really going on. 

Tyler: Well, you guys drove them pretty good. I think when they came back off, though. 

Judd: Yeah. Yeah. Our, our kids were kind of, they were up for that one and, uh, I was pretty fun 

Tyler: night. I can imagine. Well, Joe, let’s talk about something a little more uplifting than COVID. Tell me about cam Akers and, and kind of how.

Followed him. And, and, you know, I know you guys still keep in touch, but, uh, I was easily miss season with an Achilles, but you know, gotta be one of the more special players you’ve ever coached 

Judd: by far, not even close as far as the talent. And I think a lot of people see it now, as far as a personality, as a person, as a kid, as a young man, As I just overall dude, he’s one of the better people that you’ll ever, ever come in contact with.

And I think that’s what sets him apart. Um, For me, especially just the personal relationship, but, but knowing what kind of man he is now. And that’s you talking about a guy that had a lot of ups and downs going through college at Florida state, you know, he played, if you count O’Dell whatever his name was, you count him.

He went through about four or five head coaches in his tenure, three years at Florida state. And, uh, you know, you never saw a bad headline. You never saw. A negative thing come out of there and he’s handled his self, his situations, just the kind of character that his mom and dad and stepdad raised him to be.

And he’s an awesome, awesome young man. And we’re really proud. I’m very proud to know him. And, uh, I’m proud of the things that he’s, he’s accomplished and what he will accomplish because he’ll bounce back from this injury, just like he’s bounced back from everything else. And I think, uh, you know, sky’s the limit for where he wants to.

Rick: Here’s the thing that I don’t understand. About the whole deal. I watched a lot of games, Florida state games over the last three years because of cam acres. And it seemed like every game that I saw them lose, I kept thinking to myself, just let him take the snap.

I mean, he could have done, he could have been, they could have been better. 

Judd: Yeah, I think so. I really do, but that’s even at that level, even at that level, Mr. Egan, I’m just a, I’m just a Podunk guy that coaches high school football. But at that level, he is the best athlete on that field in any shape, form or fashion.

And just like in high school, I mean, why not let him touch it every time you see what happens? There’s there’s other dudes out there. But, uh, 

Rick: I mean, I just remember some of the throws he made. When he played for you at Clinton. And, um, I mean, he could really, he could, he could spin it. As I say, man, he could throw 

Judd: this.

Um, he had, uh, he had a rocket attached to his shoulder up there that, that he used and, and he got better. And that’s the thing about it. He got better every year, you know, from, from his ninth grade year to his senior year, it one thing, and that is passing and he got. I mean, he, he got better at reading defenses.

He got better at all of that stuff and, and, um, You know what, in today’s world, they could pay me $5 million and he’d probably be the quarterback I might get. I might get fired after three years, but, uh, I would, I would definitely have done that. I would think he’d have been my 

Rick: quarterback. I’ll tell you that much.

Yeah. Were you there? Batesville that night? 

Tyler: Yeah. Well, you and I drove up, um, it was, we wanted to go see cam, uh, and we drove to Batesville together. Uh, not, not for the first time. Um, but it was, uh, we, we got out up there and, you know, I remember getting out onto the field and you being like, what number is he?

I’m like, you can’t tell looking at him.

He didn’t have glasses. Right. Yeah. But yeah, that was, I’ve seen a bunch of Scouts here too, or a bunch of college recruiters and just catching up with them a little bit. And it was just, it was obvious they were all there to see Hilma, but you had so many, there’s so many other kids on that team that ended up playing division one as well.

Um, You said on offense, just loaded. Uh, always loved Derrius. My Barry’s one of my favorite players. Uh, I love a scab back like that, you know? 

Judd: Yeah. And he, you know, he’s finding his way, man. It Southern miss. He still, he still got another year and uh, you know, he got hurt. I think it was freshman year. He actually got hurt.

What’s ironic is when they played Florida state and that bowl game I was there that 

Rick: day. Yeah. That happened to be there that day and had interviewed him before practice about him playing. KMA. I mean like him being, he was their cam makers, Stripe scout team, a scout team dude. And, uh, and then he, it was just a freak injuries running down the sidelines and, uh, to catch a long pass and, 

Judd: yep.

Well, he’s just, he was a really good he’s he’s an awesome kid taking my aunt. I didn’t this. You know, right now you’re, you’re sitting in this point and, and everybody’s undefeated, everybody’s underscored on, and everybody’s, they’ve got all these expectations, you know, at the end of the day, man, if you’re so, so.

Lucky. You’re so blessed. You can come up with any other thing. If you’ve got a good group of kids to work with, um, it makes that experience a lot of fun. And, and, and even with those players that we had there, it was fun. But you’re talking about like stress level through the roof. Oh my gosh. I don’t. It always joked and I had to make a deal seriously.

I’m going to deal with God not too long ago. Well, a couple of years ago was man. I know I said that year was really tough on me. Uh, but I looked back and how much I really enjoyed that. They enjoyed them. After the game, you know, it was a pain at that point, but after the AME, you’ve got all these people lined up trying to get something signed, you know, and that’s, that’s, that’s a lot to take in for, for not only a head coach, but you think about that player that was young at that time.

You know, when, when that kid graduated, he was 17 years old and he’s sitting there and you’ve got a line of people trying to get autographed. Well, it finally got to a point where, you know, we had a police officer that would go with us and would make sure, Hey man, we gotta go. We gotta get on the bus. We gotta get back home.

Uh, so it was a really cool experience. But having that group of guys. And the group we got now is a fun group. And just having that makes it, man, it makes it so fun, especially no, no matter what the stress high school football in the Metro, I think is a big business too, is stressful. You need to produce and all this and that.

But at the end of the day, man, it’s about those relationships with those kids and trying to make it, you know, make an impact on them in a positive way. But. They make a really big impact on me and my coaching staff as well. So, uh, it’s definitely fun to have a good group of kids that’s for 

Tyler: sure. No, that pressure man.

I got at the end of baseball season, I was talking to Patrick Roby at Madison central and you know, they were just so loaded on base and he said, I said, you know, now that you get a chance to look back and you won the championship, how’s it feel? And he’s like, I’m just so glad that’s over. Yeah. 

Judd: I love. And that’s crazy.

And you sit there and you won’t, you won’t and you won’t. I want to be good, man. I would sure would like for, you know, this happened, this happened well, when it comes along, it’s hard to enjoy the ride, but, but I’m telling you, I know exactly it was a, it was a month before I could take a deep breath after that was over with, you know, and, and then I sit back.

You got three years after that that are not real good. And I’m like, oh man. And I’m telling you, I remember it. I promise you. I was at the point. I’m like, well, maybe coaching this spot might be time to give it up. Just whatever. And at the end of the day, man, it’s, it’s about having really good football players and, uh, went to some ball games.

And when you don’t have them just halfway beacon consistent and, and, and try to give the best show and you can give, but yeah. If you’re a good football coach, you got some really good players. And, uh, we’ve been fortunate to have some good football players in the past. That’s for sure. 

Rick: High school coach could hear the conversation I had last week with Archie Manning.

When Peyton was going into the hall of fame, he just went on like a 10 minute soliloquy about high school coaches and how they’re the most under appreciated people in our society, because I have many people you influence. And, and, and then he, he had a line that you said, and if every light English teacher had got the attention of their students, the way really good high school football coaches would speak a lot better.

If every algebra teacher could get them to find X the way a football, you know, 

Judd: makes a lot of sense. Huh? It makes a lot of sense. It’s true. Yeah. That’s, that’s, that’s the, you know, you talk about, my wife said the other day of like how you you’ve been really, and, and things you’ve got to do and accomplish and, and be a part of some, some good places.

And I’m like, you’re right. Because same thing you just said, there’s there’s dudes that have done this for 40 years. And they’ve not been able to enjoy. And there are a lot better football coaches than probably a lot of people coaching today, but they hadn’t got to enjoy the, the last game of the year.

You know what I’m saying? And we have, I’ve been very lucky, man. I’ve been a part of some, some really good places, some, some good programs and, and even in high school, like it last fall. That was, you were born and you were stamped with football on your head. You played football, you coach football, you were highway patrol.

When are you all public? That, that’s what you did when you came out of Lewisville. And, uh, I’m pretty grateful for that because there were some fond memories of being on some really good teams. Yeah. And you’re not 

Tyler: hauling Pope wood or working with the house. 

Judd: My daddy, when I was 15 years old, my daddy bought me a puppy food truck that, that was.

And I had to, and I used it and he bought, kill me a couple of times on it. And you know, he was gone, he was working a lot. He was a salesman, but that was my, when I got done working out in the summertime, guess what? I went to work out some more and that’s, that’s how I made money. My parents do, you gave me a thing today, so you and Mike.

Yeah, that’s right. Toast, justice. Eagers 

Rick: Popo and holler. Yeah. 

Tyler: Wow. Well, we appreciate your time and we’ll leave it there, man. Good luck with the season. And again, thanks for coming in and best of luck 

Judd: to you. Thank you guys so much. We appreciate everything, you guys. 

Tyler: All right. Well, that does it for us today.

Thanks for tuning in to the cricket letter sports podcast. I’m Tyler Cleveland. You can keep up with all the latest and what’s going on in high school sports. By following me at Tyler Cleveland on Twitter or visiting Here’s Rick Cleveland. To keep up with all the latest and what’s going on and all of Mississippi sports over, you can also follow him @Rick_Cleveland. Special thanks to our friends at blue sky podcasting and Jackson who produced this show have a good week, everybody.

Want an email alert when the latest episode publishes? Enter your email address below:

Success! You're on the list.

Creative Commons License

Republish our articles for free, online or in print, under a Creative Commons license.

Rick Cleveland, a native of Hattiesburg and resident of Jackson, has been Mississippi Today’s sports columnist since 2016. A graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi with a bachelor’s in journalism, Rick has worked for the Monroe (La.) News Star World, Jackson Daily News and Clarion Ledger. He was sports editor of Hattiesburg American, executive director of the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame. His work as a syndicated columnist and celebrated sports writer has appeared in numerous magazines, periodicals and newspapers.
Rick has been recognized 13 times as Mississippi Sports Writer of the Year, and is recipient of multiple awards and honors for his reporting and writing.

Tyler Cleveland is a senior reporter for Scorebook Live and the co-host of Mississippi Today's Crooked Letter Sports Podcast.