BOULDER — It's one thing to put those inspirational sayings on the back of your shirt to motivate the kids and poke fun at your rivals.
It's quite another to live it out.
Anyone that has been around new Boulder High football coach Ryan Bishop and his boys over the past few weeks has seen a lot of the N.O.W. shirts.
It stands for No Opportunity Wasted and while it clearly pertains to the effort the boys are putting in on the field, it has just as much to do with everything off the field.
That's why Tuesday afternoon's meet-and-greet at Recht Field — which allowed parents, players, alumni and administration to come together and chat, tour the new press box and get a first hand feel for what Bishop and his staff are trying to put together — fit that mantra.
"The No. 1 thing is our families and getting together and letting them know what you do. This is where we practice and this is where we live," said Bishop, whose players were cooling off in Boulder Creek after a tough day of practice. "And every moment you have to spend with family is important to me and its going to be important to these guys."
Bishop's staff was busy manning the grills, providing burgers and hot dogs for everyone who showed up and a lot of the players were out on the Recht Field turf still working on some of the new plays from the freshly printed playbook.
The whole vibe of the program has changed since Bishop has taken over and it is something that senior quarterback Preston Stansel has felt.
"He's exciting so many people and he brining in alumni that don't even live in the state," Stansel said. "He told us about an alumni in Las Vegas that reached out and bought one of our Panther Cards for $30, and even though he has nothing to do with the town or use for the card, he still spent the money on it and invested in the team."
And those concerns about total numbers that have plagued the program over the last few years are slowly starting to disappear. As of the start of practice this week, there are nearly 60 players in the program, including three from the now defunct Nederland program.
"I've always had a vision, being an assistant coach and being around the game my whole life, you always have that vision. And then when you finally get to put that vision in motion and you can see it — watching these kids work and play and do things that aren't football related, that's what is important," Bishop said.
"The vibe is great, but we still haven't played a game yet, come talk to me in October. But the whole thing is what can the gain down the road. In October, what have they learned the previous three months?"
The Panthers first game of the season is less than a month away when they host Fairview on Aug. 24 at Recht Field.