On Friday, Huntley will face off against Fremd in the Illinois high school football playoffs. That puts Matt Zimolzak in the ultimate lose-lose position, for a very simple reason: He is both the head football coach at Huntley and an AP physics teacher at Fremd.
According to the Northwest Herald from suburban Chicago, Zimolzak even has a handful of football players in his physics class this year, making the Monday-Friday week of preparation before a winner-take-all game between the two schools all the more awkward.
To his credit, Zimolzak has kept a terrific sense of humor about the bind he temporarily finds himself in, all to the benefit of himself and his students.
“It’s fun, the kids are all respectful and wishing me luck; I’m wishing them luck,” Zimolzak told the Herald. “I haven’t yet threatened them with their grades. We’ll wait until later for that.”
The Herald has a terrific walk-back though Zimolzak’s history, including the time he taught physics to the coach he’ll see on the other sideline Friday, Fremd head coach Lou Sponsel.
In the end, Zimolzak will either be happy himself or have happy students, so perhaps what appears to be a lose-lose is really a win-win?
“I work for Huntley and I work for Fremd,” Zimolzak told the Herald. “Sometimes I work basketball games there. I respect both programs, both schools. Both worked really hard to get to where they are.
“I spent most of my coaching career at Fremd. There’s a lot of mutual respect. There hasn’t been any razzing or anything like that.”