By Aram Tolegian, SGVN twitter.com/ChemicalAT
After over 40 consecutive years of not missing the first day of spring practice, there was no way veteran Charter Oak High School football coach Lou Farrar was going to let knee replacement surgery keep him away from the field Monday.
Farrar, who had the surgery last month, watched from a cart at the 50-yard line as the Chargers began preparations for the upcoming season. Meanwhile, Farrar’s veteran staff conducted business as usual.
“You gotta be there,” Farrar said. “My kids are working hard and I have to work hard to be there with them. First day of spring practice is really the first day of the next season.
“It was great. I got to see the kids all before practice started. I wanted to make it. I wanted to get there. I was working everyday just to make sure that I was able to get out there the first day of spring practice.”
Farrar has been undergoing physical therapy three days a week and estimated he’s lost 25 pounds since the surgery. In order to make their coach feel even more a part of the situation, the upperclassmen presented Farrar with a spirit pack for which they each chipped in to buy.
“He’s present and accounted for,” Farrar’s son and assistant head coach Dominic Farrar said. “None of us expected otherwise. He’s set a precedent that’s been a standard for so long. We just kind of fell into place and assumed our roles and responsibilities.
“When my mom dropped him off, I think everybody felt like the football season had arrived.”
The Chargers have plenty to work on this spring on offense. Quarterback Travis Santiago, a three-year starter, and running back Kurt Scoby must be replaced. Defense is another story, though. Charter Oak returns the bulk of its starters and again should field one of the top stop units in the area.
Farrar is aiming to be at practice three times per week and gradually will increase his workload on and off the field.