Every away game, Laura Beth supplies the pre-game meal for the Varsity Boys Basketball team.
“Sometimes (Laura Beth) picks up the meal from Chick-fil-A or Subway, but most of the time she prepares something. Even if she does not cook, there is always some homemade dessert for the boys,” Ed Morris said.
For big games like a rivalry or tournament, Laura Beth makes Big Game Baked Spaghetti.
“I don’t pull (Big Game Baked Spaghetti) out for just any old game. It has a pretty good track record. We think it’s a good luck charm,” Laura Beth said.
Ed said, “The team loves (Big Game Baked Spaghetti) as do I. Usually, we play well when this is the pre-game meal.”
Pre-game meals became a family affair when Ed took the coaching job at Hillgrove seven seasons ago. At the time, their daughter Chloe was 3.
“He didn’t really get to see the children much during the season. This was a way for us to go and eat dinner with him because the children would be in bed when he got home,” Laura Beth said.
As Chloe and their son, Cal, grew older, they helped serve the pre-game meals as well. “I love making the pre-game meals because serving others sometimes isn’t in the forefront of kids’ minds these days. That’s what has been great for my own kids, to see this is a way for us to love on the team. Without our whole family involved I don’t think any of us could do it,” she said.
“My wife makes a lot of sacrifices as a coach’s wife. I am gone a lot during basketball season and the pre-game meal is a way for us to eat dinner together on those long away game nights. I just think my wife is a very special lady and deserves this kind of recognition,” Ed said.
Laura Beth, a McEachern High School graduate, received the recipe for the dish from her childhood friend, Anna Kate Mumpower, who now lives in Rome.
“We’ve been making the recipe since high school. It was the one good thing I could make when we first got married,” the Powder Springs resident said.
“(Big Game Baked Spaghetti) is just comfort food. It’s hearty. It’s a nice hot dish. It tastes great. I haven’t met anyone who doesn’t like it,” Laura Beth said.
“Ed coaching basketball is a total family affair for us. We love basketball, but we really love the relationships that we have because of it,” she said.
“I spend a lot of time coaching and so we really feel like the players are part of our family and she makes them feel that way,” Ed said.
Hillgrove High School is located at 4165 Luther Ward Road in Powder Springs.
Big Game Baked Spaghetti
This spaghetti is served in a 9 x 13 casserole dish and is topped with a fluffy Parmesan Cream Sauce that sets it apart from other spaghetti casseroles. One 9 x 13 serves 10 small portions.
1 lb. lean ground beef or ground sirloin
Angel hair pasta
24 oz. pasta sauce — garden style with pepper and onion
1 stick of butter or margarine
1/2 c. flour
3 cups of milk — not whole milk
3/4 c. eggbeaters OR 3 egg yolks
6 to 8 oz. parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare angel hair noodles according to package directions — you need enough to fill the bottom of a 9 x 13 casserole dish. Brown the ground beef — season to taste — drain and set aside.
Over medium heat, use a non-stick Dutch oven to melt the butter and then add 1/2-cup flour, whisking constantly. Once combined add the 3 cups of milk, whisking again. Then add the eggbeaters and turn the heat down just a bit. The Parmesan topping can’t be rushed but make sure to continue to whisk as to not scald the topping. Once the eggbeaters are added, it cooks pretty fast. Then add parmesan cheese to taste. Laura Beth uses about 6 ounces. Once the topping starts to bubble, remove from heat.
Combine the ground beef, angel hair noodles and spaghetti sauce in a 9 x 13 pan. Spread the Parmesan topping evenly over the top. Smooth with the back of a spoon. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes until the topping begins to brown. Serve with a garden salad and French bread.