Saturday, September 05, 2009

15 Boys & No Ambulance Rides=SUCCESS!

Our first home football game was last night. Considering the obstacles that were against us, I'm considering it a phenomenal success. Here's the deal......1) We had a total of 15 eligible players that could play last night, 2) We have a brand-new coach that has brought in an entirely new system of play. Our boys have even had to learn to do warm-ups differently and huddle differently now! They have had a LOT to learn in a relatively short period of time, 3) We had a sum total of 2 seniors last night, 4 juniors, 1 sophomore (Dane), and the other 8 that were eligible were freshmen in their very first game of high school-level play! (If you don't think that sounds bad, come on over and have Dane do a little tackling practice with you. Dane only weighs about 165 and I "dared him" to tackle me one night. NEVER again......Trust me on this!) 4).................oh to heck with get the idea.

We didn't win the game, but I don't care. The boys looked GOOD last night. They made some errors. They even might have made a lot of errors! I don't care. They communicated, they worked together as a team, they executed a lot of stuff. The ball got thrown and handed off and guys in uniforms ran the right direction. That, in itself, is a huge improvement over some past events. And............its a MOM thing..........nobody left the game in an ambulance!!!!

As for Dane............well...........he's a little tired today. :) He played EVERY play of the game except two. He ran out of the game at one point, ripped off his helmet, took two big swigs of water, and ran back in. He played both offense and defense and LOVED every minute of it. I think he's a little OCD about football.......but he thinks I'm a little OCD about horses, so we're even. :) He wasn't the team star but, quite honestly, nobody really fits that bill this year. They are a TEAM. Everyone sweats........everyone contributes...........everyone will win and lose TOGETHER.

Even the attitude in the stands was different last night. There was optimism, hope, and a generally positive mood in the air. Our new principal was there sporting the red-and-black, and he was clearly visible and had a SMILE on his face. Somebody said that Raymond enrolled 46 new kids for this school year? Not sure if thats correct.........but WOW!!! Thats a LOT for this little town.

The team has survived their first week. Each week now, they will gain more players, as those who were ineligible meet whatever criteria they were lacking and are able to take the field. And the 15 that played last night have experienced the first-night jitters, and felt the new offensive and defensive game plans "live" against a "real opponent," which is rather akin to the difference between learning to drive on a lightly-traveled country road vs. driving Interstate 5 at rush hour for the first time. The team will look better and better each week and, while I know they were disappointed with the score on the board, I could see some pride at the end last night. They're beginning to believe in themselves!!! Isn't that what its all about, after all?

No comments: