Home Opener

September 18, 2009

Reach Out and Touch Someone


Today was the unveiling of the 2009 edition of Golden Eagle football! This comes as a completely new challenge for me in terms of coaching.  Over the past seven years, I have coached the entire defensive unit and the offensive line.  I have never had to think about calling offensive plays or worry about the movements of the tailbacks, fullbacks, and quarterbacks. But there I was  with my rookie JV assistant coach coaching the total offense against a team that has lost only one game in the last four years!

We started against the perennial powerhouse of Bucks County on defense. Immediately, I was overcome with a strange sensation because I was not in charge of the defense or and not even calling a single defensive play. Our defense played wonderfully, and my rookie assistant did a marvelous job calling plays and managing the defensive players.  The defense dominated. The only time they looked skittish was on the first drive, but after that the defense forced three turnovers and held the opponents to one trip into the red zone and most importantly kept the opposition off the scoreboard. 

That left the offense to try and put together some scoring and win the game for the team.  We fortunately were able to move the ball at will running inside and outside with basically every kid I have on the team.  The overall final of the game was 24-0!!! We scored 4 times and even had one touchdown pass that was dropped in the endzone. Another was wiped away because of my favorite call in football the, “block in the back.”

I remember when I started coaching football eight years ago, we never scored. Frankly, I don’t think we scored four touchdowns in two full seasons and here I was the rookie offensive coordinator calling four touchdowns in my first attempt. I was feeling pretty good about my preformance and more importantly the team’s performance, when one thought struck me.  I couldn’t help, but think of my Dad.  Usually after every game I would call my Dad and tell him how we did and ask questions of the former South Philadelphia High School standout and former player for Bear Bryant at Alabama, but for the first time in eight years that phone call wasn’t going to be made. At the same time, I felt like I didn’t need to make that call. It felt like he already knew how the game went and maybe as cheesy as it sounds like he had been there with me the whole time. At points it felt like the decisions I was making came without thought and all of them seemed to be the right decision. You’d have to understand, my Dad could look at the formations on the field and determine who was getting the ball and what player on the opposite side was going to make the tackle. It was uncanny! However, looking back on the day now, I feel depressed that, I can’t make that phone call. I know he was always so proud, when I was coaching and when we would talk about football. You would always see that youthful glint in his eye when he would explain a concept or a block to me. This is going to be a difficult season for me, but I’m going to do everything I can to make this season a great one for him and for the memory of those phone calls, because they definitely meant a lot to me.


One Response to “Home Opener”

  1. Pam Says:

    Awesome post! I think you had some heavenly guidance, which is very cool! 🙂

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