Freshman game catch up 10/21

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As hoped, the team built on the previous week’s victory and continued their improved play on offense. Defense and special teams though – kind of shaky. During the first half the Falcons got up early 14-0 and I was sure they were just going to roll all over their opponents. Then they got sloppy – kickoffs were returned for big yards and there was an interception returned for a touchdown and suddenly they were tied 14-14.

#88 had not been able to work out for the trainer all week due to some non-stop rain. Thankfully it did not rain during the game, but the bummer was that he was not cleared to play and his grandpa was in town from Sweden 😦 Ah well. I had fun visiting with him once he arrived in the stands. We explained the rules of the game as much as possible and he was thrilled that we had found seats in front of the cheerleaders 🙂 I also noticed #88 moving around still quite gingerly on the sidelines so clearly even if the weather had cooperated, he still should not have played.

Meanwhile, on the field the Falcons stepped it up. They never wavered offensively and they tightened up on defense with #5 adding in yet another interception run back for a touchdown. By the 4th quarter they were ahead by more than 3 scores and even though their opponents made a little run at the end, it was never close.

Final score 42-27 with the Falcons finally up over .500 with a 4-3 record.

Freshman game catch up 10/14

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A home game this time and the first one that #88 missed. Boy it was odd seeing him on the sidelines! Unfortunately I am now used to it 😦

Fortunately it was a very GOOD game. All those things that we normally complained about after those prior loses vanished. They tackled VERY well. They didn’t let the referees take the game into their hands and miraculously, they threw the ball! A lot! And successfully too. Two players stood out – our two receivers/running backs. #11 is also the kicker and not only did he kick every extra point successfully, but his punts were all spectacular pinning opponents back. #5 showed us hands mindful of our own player from last year. He and #11 also had some game saving tackles. Yes, the starting lineup has been so depleted by injury (I counted 13 on the sidelines this game) that players are back to playing both ways though NOT on every play. It was a wild back and forth game that finally settled into the good guy’s hands when #5 stepped in front of the intended receiver to intercept a pass late in the 4th quarter of a tie ball game and ran it all the way in for the game winning TD.

Here’s #5 showing those good hands:

Check out the reaction of our injured player to the catch!

The Falcons ended up winning 28-21 bringing their record to an even 3-3 on the season. It was definitely a win to build on.

#88’s final game this season – Ref’s 6 – TP 3

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10/7/10

We had no idea at the time, but in the final game this season for #88, he made the final tackle of the game (that’s not a good thing since he’s a wide receiver!)

It was an evenly matched defensive struggle, punctuated with a few frustrating penalties by the Falcons. A field goal early in the 3rd quarter was the only scoring until the referees gave the game to other side. I don’t say that lightly. As the other team was driving late in the 4th quarter, they were faced with a 4th down and long yards. Another stop for our defense and the game would have likely been over. They passed over the middle – low, and at the receivers feet – so low that every EXCEPT the referees saw that the ball hit the ground. Ok, perhaps it was not as blatant as I make it sound, but it was also not nearly as close as it could have been. It bounced. They ruled it a catch, and the next thing you know the other team scored and that was that. The reason our guy made a tackle is because on their final, desperate possession trying to regain the lead, a pass was intercepted right in front of him and he had to bring the defender down. Grumble!

Record at this point: 2-3 but with some hope as the defense played a much improved game compared to the previous week.

He didn’t get hurt in the game. It was the following week, 2nd day of practice when he was tackled (yeah, they threw to him in practice – never a game!) with just the wrong angle and his knee was twisted. Hoped it was just a minor sprain but two weeks in and he still can’t walk up and down stairs without pain. Heading to the orthopedist today to see what is up. But with just 3 games left, we are not hopeful for a comeback this season.

Here’s the only shot of him in action from his last game:

Football in the rain

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Peaking over the umbrellas at the wet n wild game

It’ always weird how weather patterns work in San Diego. This game was about 10 miles north of where we live. It had rained from about 9am through lunchtime at SportsBoy’s school & also at my office. 15 miles South in downtown the Padres were playing a game that started at 4:00pm – a delay of 30 mins due to rain but then it was dry the rest of the time. The location for the freshman game at the same time? Non stop showers all day long including during the entire game. Every time we thought it was easing up, we would see a bank of ominous looking clouds and the skies would open up again.

Another band of rain approaching at sunset

We were probably lucky there was no lightening with it as the rest of the county was getting plenty of that along with the rain! Anyway, the conditions sure did not help our boys 😦  They were going up against another one of those clearly bigger/faster teams. They are probably lucky to have only lost 24-6.  I suspect that the other team switched out some players in the second half when they already lead 24-0.  Even though both teams had quite the struggle hanging onto the ball, they could at least score if they managed to hold onto it. Our team scored at the end when pretty much both sides had rotated to put in more subs which was some kind of ego boost at least!

Check out those cheerleaders though! I give them major props for standing out in the constant downpour and remaining spirited and on their feet through all their cheers & routines. They did wisely not do any lifts or tosses yesterday.

As with any rainstorm or football loss though, there is often a bright spot – no injuries and several players had strong individual games. SB didn’t touch the ball of course since there was even less chance of a long pass play in those conditions but he made his blocks.  And partway through the 3rd quarter as the sun broke through to the west behind us as it set, we were treated to a lovely double rainbow display

(Vegas report coming this weekend. Let’s just say the weather there was a tad different)

Freshman football update – September 16th

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Running in the next play

Big improvements from the previous week!

The coach stood by his promise to use more players. No one played both ways as a starter unless there was an injury. Clearly they had worked on tackling because the game ended with just seconds left as our defense stopped their offense from running in a 2 point conversion on something like the 6 inch line! That game saving tackle cemented the final score of 13-12. VERY well played game all around. Just a few penalties so the time went by fast. The close score kept us all on the edge of our seats the whole time. It was just FUN all around.

Still no passes to the receivers though. Well, check that. They DID throw a few deep balls right as time was winding down in the 1st half. Just not to OUR wide receiver who the coach thinks is too short. Of course the passes they attempted were not caught. The first one hit the kid in the hands & he didn’t get it. I’m sorry, but even at his height, SB would have caught that and I wasn’t even the one saying it in the stands after the ball fell to the ground. The next couple of passes were so far off target that kids would have had to be over 6ft tall to get them! So – hurumph! Of course I love that he is so actively playing a role in the starting offense, but of course I would also love to see him get a shot at handling the ball.So would some other parents who know him from his past years of Pop Warner. he’s got good hands. He’s got mad maneuvering skills. He is *not* easy to tackle.

Now this is where you guys say: Patience mom 🙂

I know, I know. He needs to just keep working hard & showing them what he can do.

Wouldn’t hurt if he’d grow a little faster too!

Bye week this week so next game is not until 9/30.  See you after that football fans!

Freshman football update – Sept 9

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It’s been brought to my attention (ok, my mom bugged me) that I was remiss in writing up a game report last week. Oddly, given the result, I was somehow not terribly enthusiastic about it 😉 But, my write ups are needed for the continuing scrapbook she is keeping so I must keep up the tradition even after a trouncing.

But first – a few pictures from last week’s game courtesy of another parent who took some pretty snazzy photos. I snagged a few featuring our player of course:

Running in to the huddle with a next play

Still getting used to the new number!

Proof that mom & big bro strained through the sun in our eyes to watch

So yes, they were crushed 48-0. Total opposite of the first week. We played against a private school from just up the road and they clearly had superior athletes & were a much more experienced team already. There were rumbles & rumors in the stands about recruiting & scholarships & the team having practiced together for a longer period in the summer (some of those rumors were confirmed later). Mostly though, I think the poor showing on our side came from an overuse of some players, a rookie coach and general lack of basic preparation. The boys were outplayed in every aspect. They couldn’t seem to tackle at all. At one point I swear the ball carrier cut through a crowd of at least 6 of our kids in a very small patch of the field. Sure, he made some minor jukes to get out of a tackle, but the effort from the defense was non existent. They stood & watched this kid and barely moved from their spots. No diving at his feet to trip him up, no reacting to his moves at all. Exasperating!! On offense they were so bland. Run run run. The VERY occasional pass was never thrown more than 10 yards out.

Now, this is the point when I should document that SB is frustrated. Yes, he was HONORED to be rewarded for his hard work in the summer with the starting wide receiver slot. His role is the same as he had when he played offense for his pop warner coach. Alternate with another WR bringing in the plays from the sideline to the huddle. After all, this isn’t the NFL with quarterbacks with speakers in their helmets & coaches calling plays in their ears 🙂 They gotta do things the old fashioned way. So it’s awesome that the coaches trusted him with this responsibility. However, they almost NEVER throw a single pass to the wide outs! They only run short pass plays to the running backs. It’s truly frustrating and in a game like last week’s when they were so obviously going to be blown out, it was even MORE frustrating. I was sitting in the stands (proof up above!) with the aforementioned pop warner coach & his mom. I tried to get Coach to tell me what he was seeing but he is too damn diplomatic. He would not critique the freshman coach! He did, quietly, say that he would set up the WR’s out more (widen them) and certainly throw to them in the second half. Why not? Chuck it & pray right? See if you can build up some confidence in your QB & WR’s. But no. Not only that, Coach noticed what I had not – that very few players were rotating between offense & defense. Way too many kids playing both ways which just further diminished their energy levels. With a roster of over 50 suited up, that was not terribly wise. SO the game dragged on and we seriously would have lost by 60 points if not for the opposing team having some self discipline issues of their own & getting penalized enough times to stop their own scoring drives. Sigh….flags, not tackles stopped them.

Before you think I’ve been too harsh on the coaches – the very next day the coach sent out an email admitting that he had not used enough kids & that he knew he needed to get back to the basics of tackling & blocking. He also made a commitment not to have kids play both ways unless there was an injury. Good.

In the next post we will find out if those strategies were implemented & if they worked 😉

I think I melted

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Can someone explain to me why I was so unprepared for the heat in Menifee yesterday? Even though it said temps would be in the triple digits? Even though they moved our original 5pm start time to 3:30? (which helped in terms of less traffic getting out there, but meant it was at a hotter part of the day). Why did I let The Boy convince me to wear his *black* high school spirit t-shirt? Why didn’t I apply that extra layer of sun screen on my face?

The stands on the visitors side had NO shade of course. NONE. My mom found a spot at the end of the stadium near the food court with a tree providing shade. It meant being unable to see one end of the field very well, but it was, at least, comfortable. I decided to tough it out on the metal seats in the stands. Even with an umbrella it was an oven. The sun reflected off those metal seats at double heat levels. Six minutes before halftime my face was beet red & my heart was racing.

Thankfully the team made it so that I could move to the shade with my mom without care. They dominated from the opening play. The defense swarmed and made tackles and the offense scored on 4 straight possessions all on running plays. The Boy played the first half rotating with one other wide receiver but all they did was block for the runners. Which they did very well obviously! Up 35 or 42 to 6 at the half and his day was largely done. Final score was 56-13. It was ugly, but a good way to build confidence for sure.

For some reason though, I got no heat complaint related sympathy from The Boy. Something about being on the field wearing ridiculous amounts of heavy equipment & layers of clothes and running around and HE didn’t want to hear ME whine.

Payback is a bitch my dear 🙂

Stand Up for the Kickoff! Gotta hand it to those cheerleaders for hanging in there through the heat too!

When not on the field, the boys were huddled around the water buckets.

Checking to see if we are still there. Barely kiddo, just barely!