Challenges of the Season
Sept. 13, 2012
A football season is a time of constant challenges, just like life. One challenge is met and immediately replaced by another. It goes on and on with little time to relax. Just as life get tougher as you get older because obligations increase, so does the football season. Older by just a few months yes, but older nonetheless.
We began the 2012 season with a hard earned victory over Eastlake out of Sammamish, Washington at home and our next challenge was West Albany on the road. Coach Nyquist has built a small powerhouse in the valley, as their recent back-to-back state titles would attest. This year’s version would prove to be more of a challenge than we could handle. Their running back is big, physical and fast. He carried the football 50 times for 326 yards. Time and time again we made contact in the backfield only to see him dip and jump and run over, around and through our tackling attempts. Credit goes to him and at the same time we must get better at the fundamentals of the game. That would be blocking and tackling.
We began the practice week knowing that our next opponent, the Aloha Warriors, were one of the very best teams in the state. They feature Thomas Tyner the 6’1/200 pound man-child and former player of the year. Last year in our game he suffered an injury that kept him out of the next few games and ultimately was lost for the season severely crippling the defense of the state title they won in 2010.
The Warriors are currently 2-0 and look to be as good as advertised. I’m very sure they will be ready to avenge last seasons loss and bring their A game on Friday night. It’s our task to meet that challenge. We’ve had a good week of practice, if you discount the freak injuries. In a period of two days we had four players suffers bone injuries. Dane Reinhart a senior wide receiver chipped a bone in his wrist during a simple 1 on 1 passing drill and will be out for a yet to be determined amount of time. It’s especially disappointing for Dane as he is our most improved player and his off-season effort rewarded him with a starting position and hopes of a fun filled senior year. Hopefully the injury will heal rapidly and he will be able to return soon. Dane’s injury was followed in quick order by a broken nose, broken ankle and broken arm. Ouch! We will be missing four starters on Friday but we’ll give some new kids an opportunity and continue with the task of improving.
This is a non-league game and we’ll use it as a building block towards the goal of fielding the best and most complete team for our league season which begins next Friday. We’ve put up some good numbers in our first two games and our kicking game has been sound. Two important bright spots for sure. We’ll need to continue that trend and at the same time not allow Mr. Tyner too much room. He has committed to the University of Oregon and will compete in both track, where he holds the all-time Oregon high school record in the hundred-meter dash, and football in Eugene.
Coach Casey is ending his tenure at Aloha this season. Next fall he will become the head coach at George Fox University, as they begin a new football program. We certainly wish him well on his new challenge but would love to remind him and his team that nothing in life worth much comes easy and although we’re decided underdogs heading into the game, the same was true last season and we prevailed in a hard fought and exciting shootout at the Aloha field. Travelling again this season only adds to our challenge. It will be an excellent chance to assess our readiness for league play.
I told our kids this week the only way you get better is by playing against quality opponents. Eastlake, West Albany and Aloha are all quality programs, we would like to be included in that group. Now it’s up to us to rise to the occasion, accept the challenge, do our best and walk away with our heads up. We’ll let the scoreboard take care of itself.