Saturday, October 25, 2008

Mighty Mites - Game 7

Game 7 - Our season finale against Hanover, the team that kicked the crud out of us the first game of the season. This was going to be the final test for the season to see if we made progress. Theoretically,could we have had a worse game? But I knew we were a different team now. Kids new their positions. We could run the ball. We could defend. And you know what? We played well. Yes, we lost (finishing1-5-1) but we were competitive and gave Hanover a game. We actually lead when our FB, McCool, took a routine Bang playand went 50 yds for a TD. Coco made a great tackle, tracking down a Hanover RB from behind and across the field on a long run that looked like a sure TD. I was able to get kids a lot of time, which is a great way to end the season. We actually completed a pass too. Some kids had some spectacular plays. Mellow Yellow had a run with a Payton-esque stiff arm. Job had a couple of good runs. McCool was an animal, making plays all over the field. I was really proud of all the kids. They were playing football, and playing it well.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Mighty Mites - Game 6

Game Six - Home against Taunton B. Just as big, but faster. Things didn't look to improve in our favor. At least we were home. But you know what? We played them tough and close. Our kids came to play.They didn't back down or get discouraged. We moved the ball on offense.We tackled better on defense. All around a better game than last week.
In my years of coaching (3), I have never seen a player hit like one of our got hit on Saturday. Our DE, who is a coach's son, is one of the smallest players on the team. He's a tough kid and wrestles in the winter. He is able to get some leverage and give larger guys some problems. While engaging his man, he free himself and coincidentally placed himself in the hole. The lead blocker was a tank and dropped Meggett like a sack of flour. As I turned to follow the play, my jaw dropped from seeing the hit. In that split second, I feared the worse and turned back around to make sure Meggett was OK. It's the only time I have done that in my coaching career. Not only was Meggett OK, but hewas running past me to pursue the play. After the play, I pulled him off the field to make sure he was OK. He was and I told him that he ought to be proud of himself for getting up. That was the type of game is was. The boys were out matched but they always got up and never gave up.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Salem, MA - Home of the witch trials. This year we wanted to see what the Halloween hype was all about up there on the North Shore. The Witch Museum. The Pirate Museum. The House of the Seven Gables. The Wax Museum. There is a lot going on in general. Add in Halloween and the Day of the Dead festival is on. We got off to a bit of a rough start. The Witch's Brew Restaurant slowed us down as the kitchen got overwhelmed and it took us over an hour to get our food. On the plus side, I got to see a fair amount of the Texas/OU game. But I really would have traded that for a guided haunted tour. We found one of the activity hubs and bought tickets for two of the Haunted Houses. I hadn't been in a Haunted House in years. I really didn't know how the boys would do but the organizers made us feel that the boys could handle it without any repercussions.
Let me tell you. These things were so dark. Fog machines, strobe lights. I almost walked into a wall on more than one occasion. The first place, Frankenstein's lab, had Demi in the lead with Coco and Caz stuck to her hip. Bringing up the rear, I was the stray gazelle of the group. Crazy Chainsaw guy? Creepy Clown? They all waited for me to pass before jumping out or screaming, or what not. The second place, I had the boys. Caz had me in a death grip. I almost couldn't breathe due to the constriction of my rib cage. Outside we got some kettle corn and cider. Then we strolled through a cemetery. It was really interesting, with such old markers dating back to the 1700's. Coco was really fascinated. He noted the markers with babies that never made it a full year buried by the parents. We had a really good conversation about the difference in life spans between then and now. Caz really like the mausoleum. It struck me as odd that we were munching popcorn and walking about. But we were hardly the only ones. I think I would like to go back and hang about after dark. Next year maybe.

Boo Birds and Bandwagons

You know? For the first time in a long time, I was embarrassed to be a Boston fan. I was really disappointed in members of Red Sox Nation. I was watching the ALCS and as annoyed as I was by the "need to been seen" crowd attending the game and not watching the game, that was not the worst thing of the night. After making an out, Jason Varitek, the Captain, the heart and soul of the team, the consummate professional, was booed by some of the crowd. An awful display by the Nation.
Now, I know that I take a very conservative view about cheering and booing, when it comes to sport. I don't believe in booing, even when it's the opposing team. As with all rules, there are exceptions. The most notable is the Evil Empire Rule: When a team is the root of all evil, it is OK to boo them and chant "Yankees S*ck!". There is no room at all though for booing your home team. I know the arguments of expensive tickets, spending hard earned money, expecting a quality product, yada, yada, yada. I just don't believe in it. You support your team, through thick and thin. Period. It's been shameful what's happened to some of the athlete's in these parts. Bledsoe, Bellhorn, (BK Kim exception: you flip off the crowd, you lose the right of protection from the boo birds), Terry Glenn, are just a few players that were booed out of Boston. It just shouldn't happen. Everyone talks about setting a good example for the children but a lot of the adults at these sporting events behave worse that a child displaying the terrible twos.
Back to Varitek. Do you think he doesn't know that he's not hitting well? Do you really think he's striking out on purpose? But he still prepares more than any other player out there. He commands the respect of the team, and especially the pitchers. He calls a game from behind the dish, better than anyone in baseball. If anyone deserved to be cut some slack, it's him. The boo birds of the Nation should be ashamed of themselves.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Mighty Mites - Game 5

Game 5 -We played our first Sunday game of the season. A 4 PM, West Coast start time. Good thing since Caz was playing at 11:30 at the far end of the universe in Hull. The boys just don't seem to like afternoon games. The other coaches said what I was thinking, Coco was the only one that showed up to play. The kids were dazed and lethargic. On top of that, these Taunton kids were big and fast. We have a few big kids. But not both big and fast. We had kids in positions to make tackles but just bounced off these kids. We were just flat out physically out-matched. We were down 18-0 at half-time. Our running backs got hit so hard that they didn't want to run anymore. I could actually hear discouragement and frustration at half-time. To our credit, the boys played it out. I guess it is not surprising, with the way the season is going, that Taunton kept it's first string out there the entire game. So much for sportsmanship.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Mighty Mites - Game 4

Game 4 - Our first win of the season. It was at home which was really nice. The kids played really well. The running backs hit the holes and ran hard. The defense was making tackles. The CB's and DE's held the edge and didn't let anyone get outside. The LB's were scraping. The offensive line was really blocking well. We really hit on all cylinders. The kids were very excited. We got to use the scoreboard for the first time, so they could see their win. And the best part was a nice note sent out by a DYF Board Member to the rest of the Board about what a great job the Mighty Mite coaches had done, citing a noticeable difference from the visiting team. It's always nice to be recognized for a job well done.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Mighty Mites - Game 3

We were supposed to have an bye weekend this weekend. We didn't have a game scheduled. I tried unsuccessfully for a while. Then out of the blue, another town calls looking for a game. Bingo. Match made.Unfortunately we had to postpone due to a seasonal hurricane/tropical storm rolling in. We were forced to play on a Monday night. And we were playing away. After school games do not seem to be our forte. We got buried. The other team, Rockland, my version of the Yankees, was not more talented. We were just lethargic. Our kids were not up toplaying. We were missing a few kids. Coco was actually sick. He was very upset to miss it. We missed him. And his tackling. The silver lining is that we found a new fullback. We were able to run it up the middle and make good gains. We could sustain drives. And this new fullback made the play of the year so far. On defense.Patriots fan will remember a game in Denver, where Brady through a very rare pick in the end zone. Champ Bailey was set to take it back 100+yards for a TD, when Ben Watson came from the other side of the field to track him down at the far goal line, preventing the score. That's what our boy, Ike did. Truly amazing.In another head scratching moment in youth sports: who calls not one,but two timeouts when you are up 3 TD's, and the sun is down with no field lights? You really need that last TD?