The 2015 high school football season started this weekend. It’s W’s last season of high school football and perhaps ever as a player. Friday night the Wheaton Warrenville South Tigers began the season against their cross-town rival, Wheaton North. I watched from the North sidelines as part of the chain gang. I kept my mouth shut and my enthusiasm to myself. I kept my eye on the field and moved with the ball.
It was a good game and the Tigers came out on top, barely.
The game was scoreless at the half. 0-0.
The third quarter began and The Falcons quickly scored a touchdown to lead by seven. The Tigers answered with a touchdown of their own and the game was tied at seven all. It stayed tied until the end. Then, the game moved to overtime.
Overtime rules are different. Each team gets the ball on the ten yard line and gets four downs (plays\tries) to score. The team that scores the most points wins. Simple.
Both teams failed to score in the first overtime and the teams switched ends and started over. In the second overtime, the Tigers failed to score on three downs, then, kicked a field goal to lead for the first time in the game. Then it was the Falcons turn. They ran three plays and failed to score, then lined up for a field goal, too.
The field goal try failed, it wasn’t close. The Tigers won and the players swarmed the field in jubilation and Tiger’s stands erupted. (you can watch below – I was never far from the reporter who shot the video and wrote the story)
In anguish, several of the Falcons collapsed to the turf, the kicker lay face down in disappointment. He missed, he failed, the Falcons lost but, there was plenty of failure to go around on both sides of the field Friday night.
I felt for that kicker. I know him, he’s a good kid and a good player, but he’s not the regular kicker. The Falcon’s kicker had gotten hurt earlier in the week and someone had to fill in. Big shoes to fill, so to say.
The game could’ve gone either way. Football is a game of failure with the victor being the team which fails the least.
It’s not what happens when you fail, it’s more important what you do after you fail. Me
The first game of the season is finished, it’s history. It’s one game of nine. It’s time to move forward and focus on the eight games remaining on the Tiger’s schedule. The Falcons, too.
I expect failure, I am a teacher. Learning without failure, isn’t learning. Failure forces us to examine what we are doing and to adjust, it makes us stronger.
“Those who cannot remember the past, are condemned to repeat it.” George Santayana, The Life of Reason: Five Volumes in One
Santayana’s quote is lettered in subtle pink across the front of my classroom reminding my students (and me) that all of us must learn our lessons and move forward. Learn from our experiences and change our behavior to learn and grow. Sometimes, it takes more than one try to get it right.
This weekend visitors from Michigan joined us for the game Friday – two of W’s (and O’s, too) lake friends drove over from Grand Rapids to stay with us and visit. School doesn’t start in Michigan until after Labor Day and they decided to come see us Friday night for the game. Actually, they began hatching the plan when we were last up at the lake in early August. We were up late Friday night and the kids had a good time Saturday before the two traveled back to Michigan.
W did not play Friday night, he played in the junior varsity game Saturday morning and it was postponed due to thunder midway through the first quarter. They’ll line up again Monday afternoon and finish the game. O’s softball game was washed out, too.
There are eight football games left on the schedule. And, more softball games, too. And, more history lessons because it is MORE IMPORTANT what we do AFTER we fail.
The first seven days of school have passed and I know almost all of my students by first name on sight. We are going to get down to business Monday and delve into early English settlements and the 13 colonies. I won’t bore you with that, yet.
There is failure ahead; I know it. It’s Sunday and church is on the agenda followed by a lot of chores and lesson planning for me, some homework for the kids, and weekly planning for the family. It’s gonna be a great day, I know it and I can feel it, so I’d better jump up, jump in, and seize the day. And learn from my previous Sunday failures and make this day count. Making the Days Count, one day at a time, one failure, followed by a success always moving forward.
How has a mistake or failure made you stronger?