DANVILLE — Tyler Jolley and the traditional dirty, smelly high school fieldhouse don’t work at Danville High.
The Hawks senior lineman won’t put up with the mess and disorganization.
“If something smells bad or is messy, it has to be fixed,” Jolley said. “It’s not scrubbing the floor with a toothbrush, but it’s got to be done right.”
Jolley’s focus on organization and doing things right is why he is a leader on a Hawks’ team that is fighting for a playoff berth in Class 3A, Region 7.
Danville, 3-3 overall and 2-2 in the region, hosts winless Cordova on Friday in a key region matchup that the Hawks need to win.
This attention to cleanliness isn’t a new habit. Jolley said he developed the habit as a child because his parents both worked 12-hour shifts.
The four children of Glenn and Sherry Jolley had chores, and they were expected to do them right.
He admitted his cleanliness became an obsession when he earned a starting job as a freshman.
“I knew cleaning was one thing I could do right when I was getting yelled at so much for doing so many things wrong,” Jolley said. “It became a stress release.”
Danville head coach Scott Curd appreciates his senior’s willingness to take the lead on keeping the fieldhouse clean. He is in his second year as the Hawks’ head coach, but he’s been around fieldhouses most of his life as a player and coach.
All that sweat and dirt create a smelly, dirty environment, he said.
“Fieldhouses are the armpit of the world, especially during the season,” Curd said. “People who aren’t used to fieldhouses will come in and say, ‘How do you deal with this smell?’ We’re here so much we get used to it.”
Curd said every coach has a different system for handling chores that most would rather not do. Some require freshmen to do the work, while others let the skillset groups take turns.
Curd put Jolley in charge and, while underclassmen do most of the work, everyone else has to pitch in Wednesday or Thursday after practice. They also clean up Sundays following Friday night home games.
Jolley admitted that his teammates aren’t always enthusiastic about the extra work, especially after a hard practice.
“They don’t like to mop,” Jolley said. “But they don’t seem to mind the easier things like sweeping or taking out the trash.”
Jolley said the anti-Jolley on the team is fellow senior Hunter LaRoach.
“He’s a mess,” Jolley said.
LaRoach didn’t disagree, “I’m not one for cleaning.” But he said Jolley sometimes carries it too far.
“If something is dirty, he has to clean it,” LaRoach said. “He’s a little O.C. (obsessive compulsive).”
LaRoach admitted he appreciates Jolley’s willingness to keep things clean, but he would never tell him so.
Jolley brags about one accomplishment from his cleaning obsession.
“We haven’t had a staph (infection) outbreak in the six years I’ve been on the team,” Jolley said.
As teammates do, they give each other a hard time. Jolley also gets abuse for his other interests. He enters cooking competitions and is learning to use a sewing machine.
“They joke that it’s ‘Jolley slavery,’ when he’s making them clean,” Curd said.
Curd said Jolley doesn’t mind the work, whether it’s on the field, in class or keeping the field house clean.
Jolly is a 40-game starter at offensive tackle. However, his main impact has been at defensive end, where he has 31 tackles and 6½ sacks through six games.
“He’s got a good motor,” Curd said. “Sometimes he gets too wound up and flies out of control. I would rather have to rein him in than have figure out how to motivate him.”
Jolley’s big moment was an interception in last week’s 22-19 win over Good Hope.
“I had mixed feelings,” LaRoach said. “I was happy for him, but I knew we would hear about it all week and we have. He hasn’t shut up about it.”
With four games left and then possibly the playoffs, Jolley’s time as the lead cleaner is nearing an end. He is already thinking of an underclassman who can take his place.
“Freshman Drew Cooper is great at cleaning,” Jolley said. “His mom and dad have taught him the way my parents did. I figure he’s next.”
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