Anyway. Today there was a homecoming parade. That was fun, and way better than the paperwork that was my alternative option. The parade goes right by our office, so we watched as the town started to gather, then went outside when the parade started. There was the band, fire trucks, ambulances, police cars, pick ups with sports teams spilling off, convertible Corvettes for the entire homecoming court. You know, just a small town getting together and celebrating. It was a good time. The football "float" (in my opinion, there has to be some sort of decoration to truly qualify as a float) led to some yells of "There's the trainer!", followed by handfuls of candy. That's right boys, keep the chocolate coming.
The boys are "my" team, so of course that was one of my favorite parts, but they were not my favorite.
My favorite was the little kids doing the chant from Remember the Titans. "We are the 3rd grade, the mighty, mighty 3rd grade." I died, and they totally beat the high school apes on cuteness. Besides the 3rd grade is not regularly a pain in the rear. (Seriously, those boys can be a major pain in the patooty some days, but for some reason I still really enjoy working with them. Go figure!)
Moving on. Last week, I mentioned that I thought one of the guys might have a fracture. The good news is that it was just a sprain. Monday he came in on crutches and could barely move the ankle. By Wednesday, he was moving quite a bit better, and the crazy thought occurred to me that there was a chance he could play Friday. I thought it might be an outside chance, but a chance nonetheless. Thursday, we taped him up and let him run some routes, and it looked really good. He actually played tonight! I still can't believe the difference in the last week.
Okay, the last thing that you have to know is that the team we were playing was top ten ranked. This is the third team that we've played that was highly ranked, and the last two were not that fun.
On to the game itself. The first half was frustrating. We couldn't move the ball for love nor money. I don't know who decided to grease the ball, but there were fumbles like crazy. (Given the dew, I blame God for those.) Our long snapper had a few issues, so we fumbled some punts and that's never fun. For example, one of our early possessions ended in a botched punt attempt that resulted in a safety.
Then one kid went down because of an ankle. When he got up and tried to walk off, he fell over and had to have help to the sidelines. He was hyperventilating and I was a little worried he was going to pass out. Get him calmed down, and guess what. It's an ankle sprain. Not even that bad of one. He did get some swelling, and I have to give him that after all his dramatics, he really sucked it up and went back out there and played well. He's hurting, for sure, but probably a little extra drama at the beginning. At the half, coach's laconic comment to the kid was "First ankle sprain?" I just laughed, but the kid picked up that maybe he'd over-reacted a little. Oh, well. He's tough. Next time he'll probably limp off on his own.
The second half started quietly. We were down 23-7. (Like how I throw that "we" around?) We had another turnover from a fumble, and then... I don't know exactly what happened. All of a sudden things just came together. Big plays; a touchdown. The other team helped us out by picking up some penalties at key points. We were up with four minutes left, the other team had the ball and the opportunity to score, but they didn't. When the clock finally ran down, they won! It was fantastic!
The kid, you know, the one that wasn't supposed to play? He was everywhere. On defense, he was blocking passes and tackling like nobody's business. On offense, he had two or three long catches that set us up for scoring, and one touchdown. I sincerely do not think they would have won without him in the game.
All I can say is that I'm not a screamer, but if I were, I would have no voice right now. Even though I am not a yeller, they still had me yelling part of the game. There's no stopping it sometimes (and it's not like I try to stop myself, I just usually don't feel compelled to be loud). The adrenaline was a little crazy, and I still don't quite feel like going to bed.
Great game. Big win. And on homecoming week, no less. Love it.