Monday, October 5, 2009

Saturday on the Grid Iron

Day 41

Boston Qualifying Training. As much as I expected to sleep in after the 20 miles yesterday, I found myself wide awake before the clock hit 5:00 AM. It was not the fact that I have been getting up early, rather I had two big games this today. First Wil was playing at 11:00 and later Jack would be playing at 8:00 PM under the lights.

To put things in perspective, I know this is recreational football and even more so with Wil’s league, but as I tell the boys, I want to first teach them how to play the game, second to have fun, but I also want to teach them how to win.

I head down stairs and I review the plays for Wil’s game at 11:00. It is actually pretty amazing, for a 7/8 year old league, they already have 24 plays memorized. Not just easy stuff, but plays like, “Shift Right, Left hand off Right, Reverse, Block Right, Right Guard Pull on Two, QB Lead”. Though it seems like a lot it breaks down to the basics, each phrase means one thing to a particular player. I make my list and that game is set. I look at Jacks paly call sheet and decide It would be better to wait until after Wil’s game. I hit the couch and catch a few Z’s before the family wakes up.

We all hang out and have a good breakfast before Wil’s game. Jack and I warm up Wil and review the plays. Heading to the field the boys are all there early and the game starts on time. The weather is perfect, completely opposite last weeks game. We win the toss and take the ball on kick off. The first play dialed up is a good one, but it never gets off. The ball is mis-snapped, dead ball. This happens 2 more times and we are on our 7 yard line. I am not a fan of punting, and it happens again. The ball is on our 2 yard line.

I keep looking at my hand. Early in the day I took a marker and wrote down, “Coach Up!” I keep my composure and we bring out the defense. The boys stay strong and keep them out of the end zone.

I tell the boys, This is just like a "do over". I dial up our original first play of the game. The running back take the ball the distance for a touchdown. This is repeated 4 more times and we hold the opposition to a zero. The game is highlighted by Wil’s first touchdown completion, a great play that rolls out to the left and hits the tight end. As good as that was, one of the smallest kids on the team, ran for a touchdown on a 35 yard scramble. My biggest goal every year is not the wins, but rather to get every kid in the end zone, so they can have their moment. Victory Fries at Five Guys

After mowing the grass and multiple chores around the house, Jack and I sit down to put together the game plan. It looks good and I feel good we can dial up a good game. I get so busy I forget the Oktoberfest party at a neighbors house. A good time, we get there early as we have to leave early for Jack game. No beer before the game, coach can not go to the game smelling like beer. I see Melissa there, Calvin was there, I would have loved to stayed, but off we go. The game for Jack is under the lights it is cool to play like that, the boys love it and so do I.

The game plan is going great, we are up 12 – 0 at half. The second half the boys drive down the field and are looking good, Jack has a great run on 4th and 12, taking the ball all the way to the 2 yard line. The next four plays we are thrown for a loss. The game goes back and forth and the other team puts up 6 on the board.

There is 4 minutes left and I am running the ball, eating time off the clock. It looks good. We stall mid field with a 4th and 10. I call in a sweep to the weak side. It works we pick up 12 yards, on a great run and several good blocks, but the ball is fumbled and the other team gains control. With a 1:32 left there is plenty of time on the clock. The defense holds and the Eagles win!

The boys played hard and Jack looked great. Jack and I head back home stopping by the party that we had left hours earlier. The crowd has died down, though there is a warm brat for me and a cold beer standing ready. As much as I appreciate the wins, I am more impressed with the ways the boys played. Good Stuff. I sleep easy.

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