Monday, November 9, 2009

Foul weather is not our friend

So, I may have been a bit hazy on the end of the boys' football season. Their team consists of varsity and junior varsity divisions, with JV split into a green squad and orange squad. Jack and Charlie were on green, as this was their first season with the team. All three levels moved to playoffs, but the green squad's championship hopes were squashed with a devastating loss on October 24. The weather was disgusting -- temps in the 40s, alternating rain/mist and a bitter wind. We arrived at their game a few minutes after kickoff, and proceeded to watch the boys participate in every play through all four quarters. The kids had been out at the field an hour before the game started, so they'd had a head start on being cold and wet. Things didn't get any better, either. By the end of the game, the score was 7-0, and the Raiders were on the losing end. Coach Torres gave the boys a quick talk as varsity took the field for their game. I saw Charlie's face through his helmet facemask--he was crying. My heart immediately broke, and my own eyes filled with tears. This team of 10-yr. olds had given this game everything they had... and it came down to one play that lost it for them. Charlie's fingers were so cold, he couldn't get his helmet unsnapped, and an assistant coach stepped in to help him. They were dismissed, and Jack turned to face me. He, too, was crying. The boys came up to me, and I realized as Charlie threw his arms around me for a hug that his right wrist was wrapped with athletic tape. Apparently on one of the first plays of the game, he'd injured it slightly at the bottom of a pile-up. Jack then informed me he felt like he was going to throw up. I quickly ushered them away from full view of the spectators on the bleachers and tried to further assess the situation. It was a bit frantic, but we eventually got to the car and warmed up. They felt much better--Charlie's wrist was sore, but at least Jack's stomach had settled down. The next day, Coach called to ask how Jack was feeling and how Charlie's wrist was shaping up. I hadn't known that Jack felt unwell the entire game; he wanted to sit out, but the team needed him and he toughed it out. I assured Coach both boys were fine, although nursing the disappointment of losing their chance of playing in the championship game. He had good news, though. Because of their performance on the green squad, the coaching staff asked if they would like to practice and possibly play on the orange squad the following weekend in their championship game. Needless to say, the boys excitedly accepted and planned to extend their season by a few more days. Saturday arrived, and the playing conditions were just as awful as they had been for the game the green squad lost. It had rained a good two days or so prior, and the wind that morning could be felt swaying the van as we drove the interstate over to the game.

Do you see the standing water/mud puddles beyond the banner?

Jack (gray coat) and Charlie (red sweatshirt) on the sidelines as the game gets underway.

And the grassy, uh... muddy field. Charlie on the sidelines later in the game. Where is Jack you wonder? He would be in the locker room... throwing up. We now know that when Jack is mildly hypothermic (a.k.a., really, really, really cold) his body will react by vomiting. Good to know. And that day? The boys were really, really, really cold. Soaking wet and muddy after warm-ups. Yes, I see the irony there. Do you?
In the end, the Raiders couldn't match the Packer's lone touchdown, and they lost 7-0. Again. For Jack and Charlie, this was now two tough losses -- yet they still love the game and play hard no matter what. The only consolation for me was sitting in the stands with Packer fans around us cheering--because some lady next to us constantly yelling "GO PACKERS!" ended up sounding like she was saying "GO PECKERS!" Oh, come on... you would laugh too. And she was borderline obnoxious, so it made it much more funny.

At the end of the game, I just wanted to turn to her and say, "Well, our team may have lost, but at least we aren't a bunch of peckers."

1 comment:

Lindy said...

I guess I'm glad I didn't go - had that lady been shouting Go Packers in my ear the whole time, there's a good chance, a charge of battery would have followed.

The boys are so awesome and I'm really glad they were able to have the experience of the Championship game!