After the game I asked Scott, “Three words. Tell me three words to describe what just happened.” And all he could muster was three letters, “Wow.” And if you were there, you know exactly why this was his response. And pretty insane… it was one of the Top 10 games this week…in the COUNTRY! Check this out here!
Tonight, not only was I kid-free at the game (woohoo!), but I also had a special guest with me – my friend and fellow yogi, Mike Kueber. And tonight is also special because you guys get a break from me because Mike has crafted my second ever guest blog post! He does a fabulous job summarizing this incredible game.
Megan and I attend the same yoga practice at Lifetime Fitness several times a week. One day before practice, she mentioned to me that her husband Scott coached football at Steele HS and that if I ever wanted to attend a game, she could get me tickets. That is one of the perks of being a coach’s wife.
I’m not a big fan of attending sporting events, so I did not initially take her up on her offer. This year, however, after reading her post-game blogs, I changed my mind. Watching her tend to three kids and watching Scott coach a game sounded like fun.
Megan said that, although she could get me a ticket to any game, Clemens and Judson were Steele’s rivalry games. I chose Judson because, before Steele, Judson was the top football program in town and this year was ranked #2 in the city behind only Steele.
Then, two weeks before the big game, Megan had an epiphany. Tending to three kids and enjoying the game were virtually incompatible, so she picked this big game as the one when the kids would stay at home with a babysitter while she fully enjoyed the hoped-for victory.
Tonight’s game lived up to expectations. Both teams were loaded with great athletes. Although Steele took a 17-0 lead at halftime, one Steele partisan noted to us that never had he seen such a lopsided score between two teams whose play on field seemed evenly matched.
In the second half, the score reverted to the mean, with Judson pulling within seven, but Steele responded and eventually won 20-13. The difference, in my opinion, was passing. The Judson quarterback, Julon Williams, was an amazingly shifty runner, but didn’t appear to be a passing threat. Whereas, the Steele quarterback, Xavier Martin, was not only a competent runner, but also an excellent passer in continually making big plays with 6’5” receiver, Antoine Cox-Wesley, whom Megan called the Gazelle. All of these guys will be playing on Saturdays.
The game included two unusual, notable elements. A rain and lightning delay of 80 minutes shortly before the half forced about ten of us to seek refuge in a team bus. Scott’s parents, Robert and Glenda, were in the bus and they kept us wonderfully entertained. Robert was a high school football coach and athletic director and Glenda was his assistant, so there isn’t much about high school football that they don’t know. Indeed, the district stadium is named jointly after them. Both Robert and Glenda are wonderfully free in sharing their encyclopedic football knowledge without coming across as know-it-alls. They are what back home we called “salt of the earth” types.
During the game, I sat between Megan and Glenda, and the contrast was amazing. (Robert usually stands on the sideline near the goal line). Megan is relatively new to the game and she has an innocent, hopeful perspective, albeit quite nervous. By contrast, Glenda knows the game so intimately that she identified specific referees who seemed to be continually missing calls. And she remembers what happened in specific games years ago.
Refereeing was the other unusual, notable element of the game. In addition to a plethora of obviously blown calls, the referees seemed quite confused with at least 5 or 6 calls and only after lengthy conferences were they able to come to a compromise agreement that often defied reason. Glenda pointed out that referee pay is based on the gate receipts and that this game with over 10,000 in attendance would make them highly paid, but in my opinion this batch of referees was not ready for prime time.
Judson and Steele, however, are ready for prime time. Last year, Judson reached the state semifinals in Class 6-A Division One, while Steele reached the state semi-finals in Class 6-A Division Two (with division assignment being based on a school’s enrollment). I will not be surprised to see both teams advance just as far this year. Indeed, Megan suggested to me that this is the year that Steele will go all the way.
All in all, a wonderful way to spend an evening. Happy Birthday, Megan.
PS. Here was a pre-game article in case you’re interested.
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