Congressman turns coach to help son's football team


Thursday, August 26th 1999, 12:00 am
By: News On 6


TULSA, Okla. (AP) -- There's no executive treatment, just
teen-age sweat as U.S. Rep. Steve Largent is back on the football
field to share Hall-of-Fame moves with his son's high school team.

Largent, R-Okla., said the hot, shirt-drenching days coaching at
Metro Christian Academy are the perfect way to spend a
congressional vacation.

Wearing a blue visor and red athletic shorts, he watched
Wednesday as the freshman squad scrimmaged against the Patriots'
arch rival, Holland Hall. He watched the other side as if they were
a young pack of Democrats.

"Hey, that side is yours to cover, OK?" Largent yelled to one
of his players.

"There you go, there you go," he said, nodding, as Metro
Christian advanced on the next play.

Largent kept a special eye on his son, Kelly, as he played
receiver -- just like dad.

"This is my chance to get into his world, so we can share the
same language over the dinner table," Largent said. "But Kelly is
like any teen-ager. He gets embarrassed when his parents are
around."

But Largent isn't any parent.

He has been running plays with the varsity team and sharing tips
that helped him get selected to the Pro Bowl seven times and set
NFL receiving records. And it was just across town Largent started
at the University of Tulsa and went on to play 14 seasons
professionally with the Seattle Seahawks.

Metro Christian head coach Shawn Booth said he was kind of
intimidated at first coaching with Largent.

"When he called me I was kinda shocked, then I started
thinking, how many kids across the nation could have a Hall of
Famer receiver on their coaching staff?" Booth said. "Now he's
just Coach Largent."

Almost never missing a practice, Largent said the game his
pretty much the same as when he played -- still blocking and
tackling.

And he can still keep up with the high schoolers on the field.

But, Largent said, it is his role that has changed.

"I'm a cheerleader now," he said.