Football coaches, by nature, tend to be control freaks who obsess over every little detail. Many carefully organize team activities to the second.
Northwood High School coach Dennis Harris plans to give up some of that carefully thought-out control Friday night before his team’s homecoming game against Rockville.
What’s so important to disrupt routine? Organ donations.
Harris intends to wrap up his team’s pre-game warm-ups a little early, leaving himself time to speak shortly before kickoff to the crowd about kidney donations. He’ll tell his own story, how his kidneys failed him during the 2011 season and how his wife donated him one of her kidneys in July 2012. Most of all, he’ll encourage fans to join the Maryland Donor Registry.
“If you’re able to be a donor, be a donor,” Harris said, “because the second chance that people can get from that. With a kidney, you can function perfectly with one, so if there’s anybody that you can help, whether it’s a person that you know or don’t know, just being able to provide that person with a second chance is something that you cannot put a price tag on.”
Harris said the National Kidney Foundation will be on hand, potentially providing green pom poms for cheerleaders and green wristbands for fans. Most importantly, there will be forms provided for people to register during the game as organ donors.
“I want to do something to show how thankful I am to have a second chance at life and to encourage everyone to register as an organ donor and consider giving a loved one or even a stranger a gift of life,” Harris said in a statement announcing the event, which he became committed to creating once his own experience taught him about the issue.
Despite its uncharacteristically mediocre record, Our Lady of Good Counsel (3-3) has held five of six opponents below their season average for points scored.
During the lone exception, a Sept. 20 game against Gonzaga, defensive end Jesse Aniebonam, who committed to University of Maryland, College Park, and safety Kobe Walker (Kentucky) suffered injuries that knocked them from the contest.
Walker, whom Good Counsel coach Bob Milloy called “a great player,” returned in a 21-0 loss to DeMatha Catholic on Friday, registering 3.5 tackles.
“He’s a leader back there in that secondary, so I just hope he’s still healthy,” Milloy said.
No. 6 Wootton vs. No. 5 Gaithersburg, 6:30 p.m. Friday at Richard Montgomery. Both teams are undefeated on the field, though Wootton forfeited its season-opening win over Walter Johnson, and eyeing postseason berths after missing the playoffs last season. Sam Ellis, Trevon Diggs and Jibri Woods lead Wootton’s high-powered offense. The health of Northwestern University-bound Solomon Vault, who missed Gaithersburg’s win over Northwest last week, could be crucial.