For high school football, it is the best time of the year. The playoffs are here. Divisions I to V are down to 16 teams and Division VI is already to the semi-finals. Win, and you get to practice one more week; lose, and you are collecting equipment.
This reminds me of a story that Coach Thurman Simmons tells from when he was at Tolleson High School. Though the Wolverines had made the playoffs, they had lost in the semi-finals. On the following Saturday morning the coaches and kids had come in to recap the season, shed some tears and collect equipment. When the equipment had been collected and Coach had said all that needed to be said, the players remained silent and still.
Finally, Coach said, “Boys, you can go now.” No one moved. Finally, his middle linebacker, a stud of a player replied, “Coach, we have been coming in every Saturday for the entire season. I really don’t have anywhere else to go and I don’t want to go home just yet.”
This gives you an idea of how close a team becomes – it really does become a second family, and for some kids, it becomes their only family. The most difficult part is that the real work begins in January with weights and running and conditioning. Work continues through Spring ball, Summer passing leagues and camps. It is a long eight months before the “real” season begins – and then only three short months to reap the rewards of that time given.
And when it ends – it ends! When the clock runs out – it’s over – it’s finished – it’s done! That quick! And no one wants to go home.
Here are some games that I think will be or could be very interesting this Friday. Unfortunately, a few of these teams will be sitting in their field-houses on Saturday, collecting equipment and not wanting to go home either.
2 PM #2 Joy Christian vs. #3 St. David
6 PM #1 Pima vs. #4 Joseph City
#10 Round Valley at #7 Willcox
#13 Ironwood at #4 Deer Valley
#10 Canyon Del Oro at #7 Marcos
#15 Mtn. Pointe at #2 Brophy (at Phx. College)
We are down to the last four weeks of high school football in Arizona, so if you haven’t been to a game in person you still have time. Click here to see all the playoff brackets. Between the bands, the cheer squads, and the FOOTBALL GAME, there really isn’t a better deal on a Friday night. For me, I’m planning on going to the Chandler game, because you see in my heart of hearts, I’m still a Wolf.