Larry Mofield learned about work ethic from his late father Edward, who spent more than 50 years employed at the former Martha White plant in Lebanon.
On what would have been his dad’s 78th birthday, Larry Mofield coached his Meade County (Ky.) football team past Louisville Butler 34-28 Nov. 29 and into the Class 6A state finals.
Mofield, who cut his football teeth at Lebanon High in the mid-1980s, will be at the helm as his 12-2 Greenwave squad takes on Scott County in the Kentucky Class 6A football championship game.
Set for 7 p.m. Friday at Western Kentucky University’s L.T. Smith Stadium, don’t be surprised if a car or two from Lebanon makes its way to Bowling Green for the state finals.
Fresh out of Middle Tennessee State University, Mofield’s first teaching / coaching job was at Meade County some 24 years ago.
Working at UPS to help pay for his college education gave Mofield the incentive to go into education.
“I missed Friday nights,” Mofield said.”
He’s now in his 10th season as head coach of the Greenwave.
“Lebanon is where I was born and raised,” Mofield said, “my mom (Jean) still lives in Lebanon and one sister (Malinda Gammon) is a secretary at Tuckers Crossroads Elementary.
“Meade County is our home now. My wife teaches up here and we’ve got three sons. It’s a great place to live -- just like Lebanon.
“In fact, this was the first time in years we haven’t come back to Lebanon for Thanksgiving, but we were busy that day with practice.”
Conducting football practice on Thanksgiving is rare in the high school ranks, a fact not lost on Mofield.
“We’ve been blessed with a great group of kids, especially our senior class,” Mofield said.
“We’ve got 13 seniors and most of them play on both sides of the ball. We’ve been pretty much injury free -- and that’s been a big thing for us.
“This bunch has bought in to our way of thinking. Coaching football is pretty easy when you’ve got a group of kids like we have this year.”
Speaking of coaching, Mofield is quick to give credit to his former Blue Devil coaches for giving him the encouragement to go on to college and pursue a teaching degree.
“I look back to men like Hester Gibbs, Ed Sheley, Rick Martin and Larry Grissim who gave a guy like me a chance to play.
“I wasn’t a very good athlete, but I played hard and they seemed to appreciate that. They made playing football fun. Those men taught us life lessons through athletics -- things that really resonated with me.”
Mofield is a 1985 graduate of Lebanon High who played alongside familiar names such as Matt Sloan, Anthony Dilligard and Ronnie Joyner during the varsity seasons of 1982, 1983 and 1984.
He was a tight end as a sophomore, but moved into the offensive line as a junior and a senior. Defensively, he played nose man in Lebanon’s 5-2 scheme.
“I’m tickled to death for Larry,” said former Blue Devil head coach Ed Sheley -- who coached Mofield on defense for all three seasons. “He was a great kid who bought into whatever we asked him to do.
“I’m not surprised at all with his success. I knew he would do well regardless of his chosen field. I’m glad he chose to teach and coach. He would be an asset to any community.”
Tommy Bryan / email@example.com