Tag Archives: high school football

Nostalgia – a photo challenge

Sunday morning, October 2 – it’s fall. Fall means cooler nights, shorter days, pumpkins, apples, Halloween, and Friday Night Lights – high school football.

Olivia and William root on their Tigers! State Championship game 2009
Olivia and William root on their Tigers! State Championship game 2009

B and I have been going to high school football games since we were kids. We started taking W when he was young, then O came along. B and I would watch from the end zone along the fence and the kids would watch until they were old enough to hang out with their friends, then we ‘graduated’ to the stands when W reached high school. In ’14 and ’15, W was on the sidelines. He’d getting his playing time on Saturday, but he hung in there for four years as a high school football player. I admire him and have great respect for his stick-it-to-ed-ness. W graduated in May and is off testing his wings at the next step at the local community college, but we still go Friday night to watch and root on the Tigers.
Friday night, we were in the stands. It was the final home game of the season, and it was Homecoming. Tigers were winless in five starts. It’s been a tough couple of years for the Tigers – last year ended 2-7 after making it to the quarter-finals of the state playoffs in ’14.

Watching the game brought back memories from when the kids were younger. I remembered back to ’09. W was in sixth grade, his first year at middle school, and O was in first grade. The Tigers had made the playoffs and the first game was Friday, October 31 – Halloween. Continue reading Nostalgia – a photo challenge

We the people

It’s Constitution Day, again. This year it falls on a Saturday, so I won’t be celebrating with my students until Monday. In the meantime, I am reminded of the importance to share and celebrate today, even if I only catch the end of Saturday and post late in the evening.

one of the many buckeyes we rescued today at the softball field....
one of the many buckeyes we rescued today at the softball field….

Saturday is always a busy day, even if it is Saturday. The past several years we’ve spent our Friday nights watching a high school football game, but W, my football playing son, graduated from high school in May and is no longer on the team. So we don’t have to be at all of the games. We’ll still root for the Tigers, but we won’t catch all of the games. Besides, O, my softball playing daughter, had a softball game Friday night and we rooted her and her team on to a win.

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” Preamble to the Constitution.

Seven Articles. Twenty-seven Amendments. 229 years and the framework is still valid. It still works. At the time, it was divisive. Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay came together to collaborate on articles to influence the passage of the Constitution. These articles published anonymously are better known as the Federalist Papers and have been used by the Supreme Court justices to help decide many of the decisions they’ve handed down since the Constitution became the law of the land on June 21, 1788 when New Hampshire became the 9th of 13 states to ratify the Constitution. Virginia and New York, the two most populous states would become the 10th and 11th states to ratify the document before George Washington was elected our first president. North Carolina and Rhode Island would join the Union while Washington was in his first presidential term. By the time Washington made his farewell address in 1796, the Union would grow to 16 states with Vermont, Kentucky, and Tennessee joining the original 13 states.

But you don’t follow me to read Constitutional theory or even U.S. History, though it’s interesting. Just admit it, it’s okay. You click MtDc to find out what’s happening and read a little bit of positive in a world filled full of negativity. Continue reading We the people

Admire: I am Third

piccoloLast Saturday, I was at the French Market. It was a beautiful morning, the skies were clear and there was a chill in the air – it’s fall and the temperatures are slowly dropping. The week before had been chilly, too. I was waiting for B, my wife, to meet me and I wandered upon a vendor’s stall – a bookseller, even better a used bookseller. I skimmed the shelves looking for titles I knew, I recognized several from my youth and young adulthood, but my eyes stumbled across I am Third by Gale Sayers and my eyes locked. I picked it from the shelf, leafed through the pages, and read the side notes and endnotes. I remembered reading it when I was a freshman or sophomore in high school though I forget which year, at the time, I believed I had a future as an athlete – a football player.

The book was the basis for the television movie, Brian’s Song. I remember watching it with my dad and I remember crying at the end, I still cry when I think of it.

I read the book several years after the movie appeared on television. The book is better, much better, the book usually is.

admire
verb ad·mire \əd-ˈmī(-ə)r\
: to feel respect or approval for (someone or something)
: to look at (something or someone) with enjoyment

Origin of ADMIRE
Middle French admirer, to marvel at, from Latin admirari, from ad- + mirari to wonder, from mirus astonishing from Merriam-Webster Dictionary @ http://m-w.com

Our family reached a milestone this past Friday, actually two.

Friday was O’s birthday. She turned 13 at 8:35 AM, but we began celebrating when she woke Friday morning.

Friday was also W’s last high school football game. It was Senior Night. He suited up and was introduced with all of the other seniors running on to the field through the tunnel after being the last senior introduced. Being last sometimes is one of the perks of having a ‘W’ for a last name. He didn’t play a single down, nor did four other seniors, which is disappointing, but in retrospect, W has made his mark in the football program in other ways.

Continue reading Admire: I am Third

Tuesday’s Tune: “Back on the Chain Gang”

learningtocrawlTuesday, it’s almost over. But, there’s enough time remaining on the clock for a Tuesday’s Tune post.

It’s been a full day. I’ve been pushing my kids at school in history and science. In history, we’re covering the period immediately before the Declaration of Independence and the American Revolution. In my science class, I tossed six pop cans in a bin of water and asked students to explain why some float and some sink. They’re vexed. I stayed late to work on grading and arrived home long enough to take the trash out before heading off to a scout meeting.

one Coca-Cola can floats, the other sinks, why?
one Coca-Cola can floats, the other sinks, why?

This past weekend heavy thunderstorms rolled through the area Friday afternoon. Friday night is football night, at least for the next five weeks. The rain wasn’t enough to stop W’s football game, but the lightning was and it pushed W’s game from Friday night to Saturday night.

W’s football team was playing a school from my school district and I knew, or had taught, several of the players, when they were in middle school.

I signed up to work the chain gang – the group of men who work the yard markers during the game. I worked the ‘chain gang’ the first home football game of the season – the game we won and it was fun. It’s an interesting perspective being on the sideline during a football game, especially on the visiting team’s side.

my view from the sidelines - the chain gang is up close
my view from the sidelines – the chain gang is up close

There are four of us on the chain gang. One person manages the down marker that also doubles as the line of scrimmage marker – from where the ball snapped and put into play. Two others manage the ‘chain’ two markers linked with a ten-yard chain – the distance needed for a first down. Then, there was me, I ran the clip, or the marker, that would be used if the game officials needed to measure for a first down. My job was to move the clip every time the chain was moved for a first down or change of possession. And, of course watch the game without with rooting for the Tigers. Continue reading Tuesday’s Tune: “Back on the Chain Gang”

quiet Saturday mornings….

I love Saturday mornings. I usually get up early and it’s quiet. I brew coffee, bond with Ivy, read the newspaper, or scan e-mails, and say a quick prayer for the day.

my messy desk - needs a makeover and I need to do it.
my messy desk – needs a makeover and I need to do it.

Instead, this morning I slept late, I needed to sleep late. It was a late night and the outcome of this week’s football game was not good. We were on the road. We had a couple of injuries and the Tigers didn’t play well, coming up on the short side of the score, 13-17. It’s a long season and we have seven more games, at least. W and the players who didn’t get in last night, will play this morning at home.

It was a good week at school. I know 97% of my students on sight Continue reading quiet Saturday mornings….

Failure is expected….

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.

my shadow cast upon the sidelines
my shadow cast upon the sidelines

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. Continue reading Failure is expected….

Half and half

There is another half of summer yet come, waiting. Or, summer is more than half-complete, finished; depending on your perspective. According to my summer calendar, 29 days remain. For O she has 31 days, W has 22, and B has 31 days left of summer. It’s cruel how fast summer moves.

halfandhalf
the team gathers for the final time this summer, as a storm clouds gather on the horizon

The past several days our weather has been interesting. Monday it was warm and muggy.  Tuesday the weather changed and it was cool enough to open windows and rely on nature to cool the house, and Wednesday evening was cool and getting out of the pool after my swim was a chilly experience. Thursday was overcast and rainy, and then Friday arrived. Friday arrived with excessive heat warnings and afternoon thunderstorms. O and I tried to make it to the pool, but the lightning and thunder closed the pool. Instead, we watched nature’s light show and decided to try again Saturday. Continue reading Half and half

Off-Season

“It’s not the will to win that matters—everyone has that. It’s the will to prepare to win that matters.” Paul “Bear” Bryant

The first game in 2015 high school football season is 75 days away. The first official practice is a 56 days away. School is out for the summer and summer football camp started last Wednesday. The 2015 Tiger football team began preparing, for W it will (likely) be his last football season as a player. He has learned a lot and grown a lot as an athlete and as a person. Being part of a team has helped hone his sense of responsibility and preparation as well as his sense of service. He is a team player – that’s what it takes for a team to be successful – players willing to put the team before themselves.

NIU_tigertalk
Coach Muhitch addresses the team – the good, the bad, and the ugly – that’s why he is 103-24 with 3 state championships and 2 runners up – preparation

It’s during the off-season that the players come together and learn to work and play as a team. It’s the off-season when the coaches develop players and teach. There is a lot that will happen between now and the first game – a lot of growing – mentally and physically.

Continue reading Off-Season

Weekly Photo Challenge: Achievement

Achievement – something that has been done or achieved through effort; a result of hard work (Merriam and Webster)

Last weekend our high school football season ended. The Tigers were one of eight teams left in their class – one of sixty-four left. When the siren sounded last Saturday afternoon, there were sixteen teams still standing – two teams for each of Illinois’ eight classes from 1A to 8A. The Tigers have been there before and it was the team goal at the beginning of the year. It’s the goal every year. It’s the ultimate Achievement.

High school football season. It was a long season and long journey. It began the day after school let out in June with summer practices and weekend summer 7 on 7 tournaments. There was a three-week break between summer workouts and the beginning of August practices. The break was long enough for W to break away to the cottage and a squeeze in a 50-mile canoe trip to the Boundary Waters in northern Minnesota.

The Tigers played twelve games. They lost the first two games, won the third and then, lost the next two games to reach mid-season 1-4. In early October, the playoffs looked unreachable. However, through hard work, determination, and a little good fortune – I am not calling it luck, they won their next four games and qualified for the playoffs and were seeded 13th of 16 teams in one side of the 7A bracket. Continue reading Weekly Photo Challenge: Achievement

What do Tigers eat for breakfast?

I don’t know what wild tigers eat or if they have breakfast, but I do know what our Tigers eat for breakfast.

They eat egg casseroles, scrambled eggs, ham, fruit, cheese and finish it with water, orange juice, and Gatorade. All of it provided by our parents.

IMG_0154.JPG
Our Tigers are playing their third playoff game this afternoon on the road and in their house. We play the number one seed – Providence Catholic. We are the number thirteen seed and made the playoffs after a 1-4 start.

We won our first playoff game on the road and in the snow. Last week, we won our second playoff game at home. It’s been a magical season and the Tigers have really come together.

The game starts at one, we left at 11. The stadium is decorated with a few of our banners. It looks great.

It’s gonna be a great day – it’s gonna be the Tiger’s day. I know it and I can feel it. So, I’d better jump up, jump up, and seize the day. Making the Days Count, one playoff game at a time.

Go Tigers follow me at @MakingDaysCount

IMG_0158.JPG