Parkland Press

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Fairlough takes it all in; Trojans’ Dawkins ready to ‘hit and go’

Sunday, August 18, 2019 by Jeff Moeller Special to the Press in Sports

In the fast-paced world of high school football, Emmaus head coach Harold Fairclough still tries to step back and look at the big picture.

It’s his version of smelling the roses and keeping some moderation.

“Over time, I think I have tried to slow things down and enjoy everything that goes into it,” said Fairclough recently at the Lehigh Valley chapter of the National Football Foundation media night at Northampton High School Aug. 6. He was among 18 coaches from the greater Lehigh Valley who represented their schools along with a handful of players from each team.

“I try to enjoy everything that goes into the offseason,” Fairclough said. “During the season, I also try to slow down, enjoy practice and have some fun.”

Fairclough admits that it hasn’t been hard with the proper approach.

“It’s not when you put everything in the proper perspective,” he added. “This is a game, a high school game. We play in one of the best states for high school football. You just have to sit back and appreciate everything.”

Fairclough was anxious for the first week of live practice this week after the heat acclimatization, but he’ll do it at his pace.

“When I got to see of the other kids and everybody looks good like they have been in the weight room, it’s good and I knew it was go time,” said Fairclough in reference to the media night. “It’s here and it sneaks up on you quickly.

“We knew this week would come and we’ll slow it down. Let’s enjoy getting there. It’s work for me but it helps keep me a little calm. It’s good and you have to enjoy the moments.”

His demeanor and methods easily can be reinforced with the rigors of the game.

“We’re with these kids at least 10 or 11 months,” Fairclough added. “It’s crazy. We play in one of more competitive conference in the states and one of the best states for the sport.

“This is what you have to do, put things in the proper perspective and have a good balance. We want to be doing this for a long time.”

Parkland lineman and Penn State recruit Nick Dawkins also appreciated the night as the thought of the upcoming season is on the top of his mine.

“This is my last high school football season and I want to win a district and state championship,” said Dawkins. “I know I have to go out and perform. It’s great to see everyone out here and it reminds us the season will soon be here.

“I’m ready to hit and go. We were a young group last year and now we are seniors. We found motivation to do what we are capable of [and] that’s winning some big games.”