Kyle Lindsay didn't have long to prepare for his first game as a head coach. He had just a little over 24 hours, but that wasn't the only hurdle. It was also knowing his first game as head coach of the Bishop Luers Knights would be in place of his father, Matt, who wouldn't be at the game for unspecified personal reasons.
“Yesterday (Thursday) at lunch I found out, and it was about a two-minute conversation, and he informed the team after school yesterday,” Kyle Lindsay said. “He said I don't, I don't want you going out there to win one for me, but continue to play and play like you have pride in that uniform, and I think our kids did.”
With a new Lindsay leading the team, the Knights produced a similar result as they beat Wayne 27-7 at Luersfield behind a strong performance from their defense.
“Bittersweet, I think that's the same word we used earlier today,” Lindsay said about his victory. “The coaches on staff were wishing me luck and congratulating me, and that is bittersweet. You don't want to take over in circumstances like this.”
The win began and ended with Luers' defense creating turnovers, including two interceptions by Kendrick Mullen. His first led Luers to a 6-0 lead as he returned it for a touchdown in the first quarter, and his second in the fourth quarter set up Luers' final score.
Wayne did have chances throughout the second and third quarter, though. A 61-yard pass play and facemask set up its only touchdown run by Marlon Rogers Fincher to make it 13-7 in the second quarter. Then after a roughing the punter penalty on Bishop Luers, Wayne drove all the way to Luers' 3-yard line with 28.1 left in the first half. Luers' defense shut down the Generals on two separate rushes, and Wayne only threatened to score on one drive the rest of the game.
“Offensively we have to get better, we have to get a lot better and eliminate a lot of mental mistakes,” Lindsay said. “In terms of keeping focus and cutting out distractions, I thought we did a pretty good job.”
While Bishop Luers players were not made available for comment after the game, Lindsay said they had their best practice yesterday after hearing of the news. For himself, the coaching staff his dad has assembled helped make the transition a lot easier.
“For game management, I've been calling the plays now for (this is) my fourth year … So other than a couple pre-game things I wasn't used to, talking to you guys (the media) afterwards, there hasn't been too much of a change for me,” Lindsay said.
Kyle Lindsay said he wasn't sure when his dad would return, but that there wasn't a “one win for coach Lindsay” speech Friday night and won't be one in the future. That doesn't mean Matt Lindsay won't be on the minds of players and coaches throughout the week, though.
“Lot of life lessons, big teaching, and not just football,” line coach Mike Egts said. “Down the road they are all going to have to handle adversity, and hopefully we can teach them how to handle adversity.”