Friday, October 5, 2007


That was our motto the past week of practice as we prepared to play our new cross-town rival, the brand new Pioneer Ridge Middle School. We said that over and over during practice, before the 1st and 2nd half and after every time out, even when it was obvious we were going to win the game.

Our kids have a bit of a chip on their shoulder; they didn't get to be in the nice new school, some of their teachers left to go to the new school and Pioneer Ridge got more than their fare share of the bigger and faster kids. But as much as we wanted to beat them, my 7th grade JV team was the only one of WMS's four teams to beat Pioneer Ridge. But my kids don't care, all they care about is that they're the "Ridge Bowl" champions!

I was really fired up yesterday. I about hyperventilated when our receiver ran a reverse for about 60 yards down the sideline. I also threw my clipboard and maybe even scared some parents when a short punt bounced off a linebacker and gave PR a new set of downs. I was so FIRED UP!

We shut them down on their initial drive and got the ball at about the 35. We marched right down the field and scored a TD and the 2-point conversion. I told our other coach that we probably just won the game, from what I'd heard about their offense. Turns out I was right, their offense was terrible and we would've only needed one TD as we blanked PR 20-0. The game was so lopsided that I think they only got about 4 first downs and we never even punted.

After that big reverse that got us down to the 10, we tried a fullback trap that lost us 5 yards. We were eventually facing 4th and goal from about the 12 when one of the 8th graders behind me waiting for his upcoming game said "coach, why don't you run a fake reverse." We don't have that in our playbook (we only have about 7 plays) but I knew it would work. So I called a timeout and told the offense we were making up a new play on the fly.

So we ran it, the receiver started running back toward the tailback who faked the handoff while the coaches on the other sideline were yelling "reverse, reverse!" The whole defense keyed on the reverse and our tailback walked into the endzone to put us up 14-0.

During the second half we kept the ball almost the entire 4th quarter, ran some more fakes where the QB kept it and got us a big first down and our final TD. We stopped them on downs, lined up for our "victory formation" (QB taking a knee - and Coach Spencer reminded the team that only the QB takes a knee) and ran out the clock.

Before the game I had planned a victory celebration. After each kid shook hands, they sprinted down to the endzone where they were jumping up and down waiting for everyone to join them. I was the last one there and started moshing with them. Then we yelled "Mustangs!" several times and just whopped it up . As I kept asking on the busride back "who did we just beat?" the PIONEER RIDGE response was defeaning.

Wow, coaching is just as much of a rush as playing.

I could write more, but our final practice of the year starts in a few minutes.

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