by John C., Age 14
, Grade 8, Holy Trinity Parish School, Louisville , KENTUCKY USA
Teacher: Sarah Reinhart
“John, get up! You have to be at Holy Trinity in an hour!” My mom woke me up at 8am on November 5, 2016. That was the day of the biggest football game of my life. My team had been working nonstop from July 15 to get to this game. We were going up against the St. Mary Monarchs. They were a big, fast,very elusive and an athletic team. I told myself before and during the game that we were going to win. November fifth is a day that I think of everyday of my life. What could I have done differently to get my team a win?
My mom dropped me off at Holy Trinity at 9am to get on the bus. When we loaded the bus, it was very quiet and all you could hear was the faint whispers in the air. Before the game started, we already had the odds stacked up against us because the first time we played, we lost 24-8. For the rematch, we got to Saint Xavier at 10:30 am for the kickoff at twelve o’clock. When we arrived, we walked to the grand baseball field where we would warm up. We warmed up for about an hour. During warm ups, we just went over plays, formations,etc. We wanted to make sure everything was perfect for the game. After warmups, the captains were to go to the game field. I was one of four captains with my teammates Teddy Meiers, Drew Hatcher, and Nate Donahue. Our coaches were very proud of us working hard, being leaders, and wanting to do anything to make the team better. I was very proud of myself for this accomplishment.
After the flip of the coin, we lost the toss and they elected to differ which means we would be on offense first. The first possession we went ‘3 and out’ and had to punt. We stopped them that possession and got the ball back. The first play of the next series, I threw a 30 yard pass to Nick Hatcher and he ran 20 more yards for the touchdown! Kurtis Bohn, our kicker made the field goal and we went up 8-0! The next step was kick off, and they got a pretty good return. That possession, they got a touchdown and the score was 8-6. The next possession went by fast, and now it was halftime. We were winning 8-6 as we went into the locker room. Halftime was over and they got the ball first. We forced them to a three-and out and got the ball back. They stopped us, and we had to punt. We punted away, and their returner got the ball. When he gained possession, he went left, then went right, then cut in up the middle. He made cuts,spin moves, and other juke moves and found his way to the end zone. That made the game 12-8. When they scored, I knew I had to take control of the game and get my team a victory. I told my teammates, “ We are going to win this game. We are the better team!” I knew that we had very little time, just two minutes left to go down the enormous field.
My coach told me that we had no timeouts left so we had to huddle quickly, get to the ball fast, and execute well. The second play of the drive, I threw a bomb to Nick Hatcher and we were on the 10 yard line with only 20 seconds left. We all knew what we had to do.We had to runup to the line and spike it to stop the clock and get a play in. The play our coach called in was ‘I right 26 Z reverse.’ This was a reverse to Tyler Boggs. I called “hut” and I handed off to Nate. I then ran around the left side and blocked there defensive end. I blocked him as hard as I could. Fighting, for everything we’ve done to get to this point. Number 21 Nate handed it back off to number 19 Tyler. I saw Tyler running and said, “C'mon Tyler!C’mon!”Tyler ran around the left side, made number 44 miss and was brought down at the 1 yard line just short of the end zone. We were stopped there and we lost the game 12-8.
Win or lose-I was very proud of how I played, and of course all of my teammates. Tyler and I received that second place trophy and although we didn't get the result we wanted, we all played an excellent game! On the way home, I told my dad, “ Dad, I don't feel well.”
“ Alright, we’re almost to Holy Trinity.” That's where we were going after the game to drop off Tyler Jurgensen and his dad. As soon as we got there, I ran out of the car and barfed up ‘chunks’ of water, food, and other disgusting things. I later learned that I had a concussion.
From this experience, I learned that you won't always win. You can work 5 days a week, for 5 months and still may not get the results that you want. You have to keep fighting in life and in sports. Giving up is not an option. Giving up is for losers. Keep working.