MART (December 19, 2012) -- When Mart takes the field against Stamford, it'll be head coach Rusty Nail's fourth state title game at the school and fifth in his coaching career.
"In 2006 when we played for our first state championship, it was my first year as a head coach," said Rusty Nail. "Just, everything was a whirlwind, it happened so fast, I was still learning the job, much less. When the game was over and we won it. I looked back and realized how much I missed out on enjoying all the pageantry and all the great things that surround and playing for a state championship. About an hour into practice this week, I stopped practice and called them all up and then gave them a reminder that we don't miss out on the uniqueness and the special moment of this by stressing out over preparing for Stamford in three days."
The title game this year is a little different. Both his sons, Sophomore linebacker Collin, and Freshman kicker Bryson will experience a state title game for the first time.
"Growing up in Mart and around other places, where teams have been successful, I've seen just how proud the players were," said Collin Nail.
"It's been kind of nerve racking being the youngest one on the team," said Bryson Nail. "But you just got to live up above it and I know my team is going to have my back. I'm going to do my best."
"They've been around football their entire life," said Rusty Nail. "Tonya packed them to the games in infant carriers. They've been ball boys, water boys. They've experienced a lot of great things and to have both them have a role on this team this year has been really special."
"One of the cool things is the ring," said Collin Nail. "And just seeing everybody get them in previous years. That was my ultimate goal whenever I got on varsity I was going to try and get myself one."
To win a ring this season would be special for the entire Nail family.
"I want them to experience being a member of a state championship game," said Rusty Nail. "To experience anything with your kids is special. To experience a championship is extremely special, a moment that doesn't happen for a lot of people."