JIM PETERS: Reid father and son face off as Hobart hosts Highland

2012-10-11T19:00:00Z 2012-10-12T01:35:04Z JIM PETERS: Reid father and son face off as Hobart hosts HighlandJim Peters Times Columnist nwitimes.com
October 11, 2012 7:00 pm  • 

Almost every Friday afternoon this football season, Hobart offensive line coach Mark Reid Sr. has made a stop in town on his way to the high school.

The destination is his son Mark's house.

"We talk about the week, here's what we're going to do, pre-game," Reid Sr. said. "The next thing you know, 20 minutes are gone, and we've got to go, him, his way, and me, mine. It's great father-son time."

Tonight will be a special game for the Reid family as the Brickies host Highland. The Trojans' defensive coordinator is Mark Reid II.

"The front door will be wide open if he stops by," the first-year Trojans coach said. "If he doesn't, I understand. "

This will mark the first time the Reids have ever  been on opposing sidelines. Dad was Kirk Kennedy's line coach at Lowell from 1991 to 2003. Son played for the Red Devils. He then went to Purdue, where his career overlapped with a quarterback named Drew Brees. Reid II went to three bowl games, including the 2001 Rose. After finishing up school at Purdue Calumet, Reid II helped the long snappers at Crown Point while his dad was an assistant there.

"We both feel like coaching in what we're meant to do," he said. "We love it."

That stint was followed by three years together at Merrillville.

"At first, I was real surprised to see how much he'd learned, but I shouldn't have been," Reid Sr. said. "He'd taken everything we'd taught him at Lowell and gone down to Purdue. It was just so impressive to watch him."

Neither coached last year. When dad's phone rang about an opening at Highland, he referred the call to his namesake.

"I told them, 'Hey, I've got a guy,'" he said. "I thought it was time to let him have his own deal, to spread his own wings. It wasn't so much us not working together. We're best friends. All he's done in football, he's always been the coach's kid. It was a chance for him to make his own name, to be his own coach Reid, not the other coach Reid."

It hasn't been easy at Highland, where the Trojans are 1-7. Much of Reid II's conversations with his dad are for reassurance, a confirmation that he's doing things right.

"It's like we've gone to a different level of talking," he said. "We've shared even more things than football. Usually, it's me talking and his knowing nod, that he's been there, seen that. I can't help at times question my own ability. I've never really tasted success as a coach. I just want to put a good foot forward for the (Highland) kids. I don't want to fail them."

Dad knows his son might have his doubts during a rough patch, but encourages him to hang in there.

"What makes me proud is the way he interacts with his players," Reid Sr. said. "There are tons of football coaches, but how many of them are showing kids the right way to do things in life also? He looks forward to every day, teaching his guys."

Son feels like dad will be more conflicted over tonight's game. The student is more concerned about what adjustments the mentor may have in store.

"He's got a very good, imaginative mind for football," he said. "When I played for him, he was coach Reid. When the ball's kicked off, he's a Hobart coach. When the last whistle sounds, he'll be dad again. I'll shake his hand and say, 'What do you think?' We've always been really good at making the distinction."

Still, any success Hobart has tonight will be a tad bittersweet.

"(Today's) pay day, but this pay day is beating my son's team," Mark Sr. said. "It's a hard place."

And where's Mrs. Reid going to sit? Mark II wasn't sure. Mark Sr. expects it will be on the Highland side.

"She's said I've won enough," he said.

This column represents the writer's opinion. Reach him at jim.peters@nwi.com.

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