November 4, 2011

The Final Game

The final football game was AH-mazing. Might have cemented Trevor's love for the game, and also maybe led him into believing that a career playing for the Packers was an actual possibility. Precious boy. Keep believing, T!

First, let me just share with you all the love for this sport out here. Maybe there are other areas in the US where junior football is so supported, but I've sure as heck never seen them. We currently have a complex now with 4 full fields where all junior games are played (and these are full tackle, Peeps - NOT flag). Next year, the TWELVE FIELD complex opens. Holy crap! This year there were more than 100 teams (with almost 30 kids per team), grouped and bracketed by region. After 8 regular weekly games, playoffs begin. Then the brackets, which are too complicated for me to understand let alone explain to you, start. But we just kept winning, so I got to "live" the brackets first hand this year. The final junior playoff games in our state are played in the university's dome, the top in all brackets among the states 100+ junior teamsIt's super exciting and a true reward for the kids that make it that far.

"Is it the same kind of dome that Nebraska plays in?" Trevor asked on Saturday night. "What about like, NFL domes? Is it like NFL domes?" These the queries on Sunday morning at 5am. The kid had NO idea how cool it was going to be. Bryon and I couldn't stop smiling for him. He was most excited about playing on astroturf and found it super wicked that his stepdad played in that very dome several times himself.

The night before the camera was packed and ready! Oh I was on it, Folks. No more forgetting the camera or using the easy camera-phone. Oh no. Not for this game. My baby was playing for 6th place in the whole state!

We drove for an hour to get the the university and it was still dark when we got there. It was chilly when we hopped out of the car. Mabes still had sleep in her eyes. Not Trevor; he was JACKED UP. The game was at 8am but players met for conditioning at 7:20 inside.

Parents settled into the stands and cameras were crackling like mad.

A bunch of little bodies lined up on the field, including Trevor, who was starting cornerback for our final game. Then, an unexpected noise ripped through the dome and reverberated in the ceiling - the first few chords of ACDC's You Shook MeWe had no idea they'd get music, too! The kids were so psyched and a bunch of little bodies started to groove it out on the astroturf to the music. They were geeked up! 

One minute before the game started, the clocks were lit up. All the boys looked around, wide-eyed. LOTS more mommies and daddies in the stands this time. Like, BIG stands. With BIG lights. And an announcer calling the game!

Trevor did an amazing job throughout the first quarter. Sometime in the 3rd, he gave some kid some serious astro-elbow burns when he tackled the snot out of him. A booming voice announced, "That tackle courtesy of #83, Trevor Cox!" He beamed from ear to ear and so did we.

And... AND... there was a punt block as well that launched the ball into the air, which Trevor grabbed amidst the chaos. He was standing on the 50. He turned and launched himself down the field for his first touchdown. My breath caught in my throat and I smacked Bryon on the arm. Both of us stood up... My face went numb and I started dreaming of the day when he signs with the Packers myself. Then the ref blew the whistle and called it a dead ball. Now in any other game, the ball would not be dead - but the league playoff game has certain rules and in that case, the ball was dead. Poor kid. He was stopped short of his first turnover touchdown.

And his mom almost stroked out right there in the stands.

While we did not win the game, Trevor locked and loaded his love for this sport. Bryon and I look forward to cheering him on for years to come. He looks so amazing out there!  
Way to go, Trevor!

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