Hey hey United Way
Yesterday we played our arch rivals in a show case game. It’s a high school football fundraiser for United Way. All the teams in London are involved and its been played in London for I think 70 years. Most of the student body goes, gets dressed up in the school colours, you know the whole high school Harry and Harriet thing.
It is, without a doubt, the most important game on the schedule for the kids. Even the city final doesn’t compare. That game, if we get there, is played at night in November, maybe a hundred students show up and its usually absolutely freezing. Half of the players are done with football by that time as well so no comparison. They get so excited for the United Way, or as it was preciously known for some reason, Red Feather, game in September. And we got drilled.
The other team was bigger, deeper and more talented. We made some mental and physical mistakes. We had a serious injury to our most talented player early in the game which didn’t help. Separated shoulder. A hard blow for us, and him, so early in the season. Maybe he’ll be able to come back in a month or so. I hope so, for both our sake. But the kids played as hard as they could. They usually do. Get ‘em next time I guess.
On a personal note, I wish I could become more philosophical about the whole process. The preparation for the season, the actual practices and game and then 24 to 48 hours after thinking about it. I get so wound up its ridiculous. Perspective comes eventually, and I show it to the team immediately to keep them focused but man, I need to get a grip. Its high school football. In Canada.
Yet, there are lots of other teams around here who do what we do. We tell them that the only way to compete is to commit to it. And that commitment is a good thing to practice. We are generally successful in terms of our record, the number of our players who go on to play at the next level and our graduation rates. That is perhaps, all we can hope for. (And I can hope for a younger coach who can come in and take the reins in a year or two.)
Book 2 of the Almost a Myth saga has come back from the editors and I am going over it now. Have to pick a title and get the cover done yet. Stay tuned.