There are several things Dusty Goode thinks about each day when his feet hit the floor.
His mind often carries him back to 2002 when he and his wife suffered the most painful loss a family can endure: the death of a child. And, at least for the last 243 days, he’s replayed the final six minutes of a season-ending loss over and over again in his head.
Mortimer Jordan head coach Dusty Goode carries last season's semifinal loss with him every day. @MJBlueDevils @MJHSbluedevils Here's my recap from that night: https://t.co/2Wg6m0i7fJ pic.twitter.com/ZjBqJvlIMr— Erik Harris (@jeharris2) July 30, 2019
“In 2002 me and my wife lost a child and I know this is not something like that, it’s not comparable to a football game but I think about that every day and I’ve thought about the ending to that Clay-Central game every day and I think I will for the rest of my life,” said Goode during his visit at Jefferson-Shelby High School Football Media Days on Tuesday.
That 20-17 loss snapped a 12-game winning streak and ended Mortimer Jordan’s 2018 season in the Class 5A semifinals—one step shy of the Super 7 state championship game in Auburn. His Blue Devils held a 17-7 lead midway through the fourth quarter before Central of Clay County, the eventual state champion, rallied for two late touchdowns to capture the road win.
Goode and the three players who joined him for media days (Kourtlan Marsh, Garrett Helm and Zack “Boo” Prisoc) remember that night well and could perhaps, turn its memory into an extra rep in the weight room or an extra minute on the practice field.
Goode likes the work ethic he’s seen from this group throughout the offseason.
“We’ve had a good summer. We’ve a few competition days: OTAs with Pelham and some 7-on-7 stuff at Clay-Chalkville,” said Goode. “We’ve still got a lot of improving to do, but we came a long way this past spring.”
“We’ve had some coaching turnover. We’ve got a new offensive coordinator [Stuart Floyd], new defensive coordinator [Zac Glaze], so we’re kind of going to have new verbiage, but we’ll be doing a lot of the same things,” he continued.
Marsh, Helm and Prisoc kept relatively quiet on Tuesday, but Goode expects plenty of noise from each come Aug. 23 when the Blue Devils travel to Pleasant Grove: “These three guys are really the foundation of our team with good senior leadership, hardcore work ethic and just great kids, and I’m proud to be up here with them today.”