The bus ride to an away game sets the tone for the Largo Packers, who traveled to St. Petersburg High on Friday night. Not a word is spoken. All that can be heard is the churn of the bus motor and the clicking of its turn signal. Cars whisk by. The players stare straight ahead. Some close their eyes in thought.
But the silence is broken once the team arrives and makes its way into the locker room, where head football coach Rick Rodriguez addresses his players. It's what Rodriguez and his staff say before and during halftime that can motivate the team to victory. What they say after the game often helps prepare the team for its next game.
Those boisterous yet inspirational rants are seldom heard by those sitting in the stands. But those pre-game speeches, just beyond the gridiron, have yielded many favorable results for the Packers, including Friday night's 17-16 win over St. Petersburg.