On Tuesday, (July 23) Charleston football coach Greg Kendrick was recovering from an experience about 10 times as harrowing as a triple overtime game in the state playoffs.
Kendrick’s wife Marla gave birth to their third child, son Burke, but the family had to endure some scary moments in a difficult delivery.
"There was one point where my wife’s blood pressure dropped so low that she passed out and the baby’s heartbeat dropped so low that they couldn’t detect it," Kendrick said. "It was pretty rough for while."
Kendrick said the doctor looked at him and said, "It’s fourth-and-goal at the 3-yard line, coach, let’s punch it in and get this thing done."
Fortunately, after a few extra days in the hospital, both Marla and Burke at doing much better and should be home soon.
Kendrick will open practice on Aug. 7. Charleston figures to be one of the top teams in 3A this year and challenge defending state champion Harding Academy for the title.
Charleston has junior quarterback Ty Storey who passed for more than 4,000 yards and 48 touchdowns last year and is orally committed to the University of Arkansas.
During the summer 7-on-7 tournaments, Charleston won an event it hosted and lost in the semifinals at Fountain Lake. Perhaps most impressively, the team had a strong showing at a big Southwest Showcase in Springdale last week. Charleston was the smallest school in the field of 32 from around the region and went 10-3 overall and 6-1 in pool play. Charleston beat 7A Bentonville and 7A Springdale twice and also a team from Kansas that has more than 3,000 students.
"We have been telling them they can compete with anybody, but until you go out and do it I am not sure if they really believed it," Kendrick said. "We were the only team up there that had to have all our skill kids go both ways, so that was a test."
While Storey gets a lot of publicity, the team is stocked with talented wide receivers including Chance Shelby, Taylor King and Colton Ward, who all had strong showings.
"Ty gets a lot of hype, and deservedly so," Kendrick said. "But we aren’t a one-man team. All our skill kids played great."
Four times in pool play, Charleston came from behind to win in the final minutes.
"That’s one thing I was really proud of," Kendrick said. "When we were down, we kept competing and playing hard and expecting to win. That is something that will pay-off experience wise in the fall."
As for the family, Kendrick said he is saying his prayers for good fortune and spending some extra time with them before the season.
"I am just really thankful my wife and son are doing better now," Kendrick said. "She and I agreed that is going to be it for kids. We don’t want to have to go through that again."