Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Catch the Ball First, Wrap Up, Take 'Em Down Low

2008 Friday Night Lights – Week 7

Crisp Autumn air and a cool breeze swept over the stadium as I nestled in my stadium seat wearing my warm Columbia jacket and blanketed in hometown pride. We were playing an away game in a neighboring town, an easy 25 minute drive from home. The game night was an atypical Saturday and the freshman game preceded it. We caught the tail end of our freshmen being annihilated 50-7. Some friends noted they had seen Varsity players warming up during half-time and that B looked sharp. I nodded in agreement that he had had a good week.
Monday he played a few quarters of JV and clocked in two interceptions and a solid catch (1 for 1 on receiving). He came home Wednesday night after practice- proud. He had earned a "playmaker wristband" He said only the top four receivers get one, and the other three are all starters. Saturday afternoon he followed me around the laundry room with nervous energy. "You'll probably play tonight?" I asked. "I know I will, I can feel it." He replied, the words bursting forth. I chatted about the fundamentals: catch the ball first, wrap up, take 'em down low, and many others. His reply this time was a semi-sarcastic "Okay Mom."
I watched one of B's friends and teammate Jacob, such a nice boy, warm up. He's the kicker and pounded two 50 yard attempts in a row. (That's NFL good!) Sadly he is hardly used for anything more than an extra point. I intently searched for the tight end that was hurt last week, affording B some extra playing time. Was he suited, was he not? NOT! Sweet!! I quietly noted. The game began and I was paying attention to every position, who was where and what route was run. We scored quickly. In the 2nd quarter, our quarterback threw an interception deep in the back field putting the other team 15 yards from their end zone. One of our wide receiver/defensive back starters was in on the tackle. He ran off the field. His helmet was messed up. They tried to quickly fix it, but not quick enough and B was sent out to play on clutch defensive coverage. The ball went to the other side of the field (away from B) and was stopped short of scoring. B came out. He got kudos and forceful helmet hits (these are desirable) from his coaches. I think the translation is: “Thanks for not screwing up big time”. The rest of the game continued and from time to time B would be sent out on relief for a starter stud. Our team only plays about 16 kids consistently. (That's not very many for a winning 4A team). Although B is second string for wide receiver and defensive back he doesn't play much, and didn't, but did get field time in the last three quarters. As a team we struggled with snaps--again, from the center. The game was not played sharply, yet we secured another win. We are the 2008 Division Champs.
B came home hungry and we chatted over a vat of chicken noodle soup and saltines. He was surprised he didn't play more, thus taking advantage of his wristband.(Tee hee). But he was happy. Happy to be a part of a winning team, and happy to receive some recognition for solid play. Brownie-mania? The team was treated this week while they watched tape.
To be continued...

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