Thursday, November 10, 2016

HS Mighty Mites Football 2016

Evan changed his sports schedule a little this year to try playing tackle football instead of soccer.  He actually complained a little about missing soccer, but I think in the end he enjoyed getting to play his first season of football.  He loves football as a sport, but he is still on the small side so we knew it may be more difficult for him.  His determination to always do his best really won out, and he was always ready to do his part.  He played defense most of the season as either a corner back or a safety.  He preferred trying to tackle others to being tackled.  He was good at holding his offensive counterpart back although it took him a while to build his strength up to be able to try to tackle someone bigger than himself.  Because of his size, we don't feel he had a lot of opportunity to show his skill most of the season, but by the last couple of games, he really got into the action more.  I definitely think he will be interested in playing this sport again.  For now, I guess I will have to endure his constantly playing in the house.  Sigh.  He played for our town's recreation league team for 9 and 10 year olds.  The town only has one team for each of the three age groups and plays teams from other surrounding towns so we had to do some long distance traveling for some of his games.  Our recreation league teams all seem to struggle with competing against these neighboring town's teams.  We can only conclude that those towns have more limited sports options for their kids so they have a bigger pool of kids who want to play football.  Those kids seem to be bigger than the boys in our town who want to play.

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My handsome football player.  Go #21!  Anytime I couldn't find him on the field, I just looked for his bright orange shoes.  We found his cool football cleats on sale online, and they were cooler and cheaper than anything in the store.  They were a shiny bronze color with orange on the bottoms.  

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I didn't go to many of his practices because they were two hours long 3 nights a week.  It was easier for me to get the younger boys home and ready for bed while daddy took Evan to practice.  The first practices were really intense physical training exercises, and I do think they helped Evan build up his strength. 

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He loved playing scrimmage matches with his teammates and learning the plays. 

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I had to corral these two rowdy boys somewhere while we watched from the stands.  The boys played at our town's very nice new sports complex where our college summer baseball team plays so they have excellent facilities and seats.  I put the boys up on this raised area behind the net to contain them after they had ran and climbed all over the stadium.  They were also filthy because everything was coated in a layer of construction dust from a neighboring job site.   The field the boys played on was actually AstroTurf so they didn't get too dirty out there.  

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The first games Evan played were at a jamboree one Saturday where all the league's teams met to try out their skills.

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The team running out on the field at the first home game.  See #21 and Evan's bright orange shoes?  Daddy held the down counter at this game. 

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The kick off!  Most of the kickers couldn't get it more than about 20 yards at this point. 

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Unfortunately, most of our game scores looked like this one.  Sigh.  We were playing Chapel Hill so they were Carolina blue, of course.  Evan was on the field in the two bottom pictures playing corner back.  

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He is a fast runner so even when the other teams offense went to the other side of the field with the ball, he was always quick to get over there to help if needed.  

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And these two just enjoyed running around in the stadium during the game. 

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During this play, Evan was playing safety in the middle of the field.  He was the last line of defense.  All of the defense let the other team run the ball past them.  Evan got over to the far right side of the field and caught the player by his legs, but he was already at the goal line by then.  

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We played this away game, and I had my hands full with two little men in the stands.  Mattox just enjoyed climbing the bleachers.  

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I took a picture of this monumental scoreboard.  Unfortunately, that was the younger team that pulled off their first and only win of the season.  I watched most of the game before Evan's game started, and they played an excellent game.  They had a good coach who was a former NC State football player.   We played against a team wearing Clemson colors that game. 

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Daddy liked that picture in the top right where it looks like Evan was catching an interception.  He was actually recovering an incomplete pass for the other team and throwing it to the ref. He does have great form though. 

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I love watching him run as he watches where the play is going. 

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He was down on the ground in that top left picture after he had tried to stop another touchdown and had caught the runner. 

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In position and ready. 

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This was one of his more exciting moments I caught on camera.  He was moving to help his teammates stop the other teams offense in front of him, and the opposing team player was pushing and holding him back.  I actually caught the kid holding his arm and pulling him back, a clear holding violation.  Unfortunately, they don't make those calls in this league yet.  Evan was still fighting hard to get around the kid and went out of bounds.  

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We didn't notice until later that Evan had put on his football pants over his long athletic pants because he thought he would be cold.  Haha!  They looked funny sticking out below his tighter football pants. 

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The team got invited to be a part of our local high school's home football game and to run out on the field with the team. 

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Greeting the players running out onto the field.

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That high school player looks enormous next to our little team players.  Our high school actually had a really good team and one really great running back who was so fast he scored several touchdowns and had an awesome record of number of yards ran this season. 

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That purple smoke made it really hard to see, and it didn't smell great. 

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Brody is more interested in cheerleading right now.  Sigh. 

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Evan got to be a team captain at his last game of the season and stand on the field for the coin toss. 

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He just looks bigger on a football field.  Sigh. 

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He got more aggressive this game and was going head to head with his opposing player. 

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He said he really enjoyed this.  Haha!

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So that ends his first season.  No games won, but I don't count those losses for him.  Our teams offense just couldn't move the ball down the field very much. 

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Evan and his teammates celebrated the end of season with a pizza party and got certificates.  They also voted on awards for the other players.  We were really proud of one particular player who was the only girl on the team.  She was truly amazing and the only one who really could tackle her opponents.  I hope she doesn't get discouraged in her future if she pursues this sport.  

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