Lackey's Scott Chadwick laughs at those who think coaching football is a four-month job, beginning in August and running through November.

"Once the season is over, that's when you've really got to start working," he said. "December is the hardest month for me."

That's when Chadwick makes sure all of his seniors who hope to continue playing are on a roster for the next season. But that's a process started 10 months earlier.

Right after his seniors sign with colleges in February, Chadwick assesses his junior class. Anyone who has a chance of playing at a Division I college gets a highlight tape made and sent out. For players who best fit in at a Division II or III program, Chadwick fires off their information to dozens of schools.

As spring approaches, Chadwick urges all of his players to attend at least one combine, "so their numbers are documented by someone reputable," he said.

Once their senior year begins, Chadwick monitors his seniors' game film to see if there is anything he can do to improve the tapes. After the first month of the season, he sends out another set of tapes for each player.

And in February, the process starts all over.

-- ALAN GOLDENBACH