I just got back from the Wheatridge Middle School 8th grade varsity football game against Ottawa. Since I coached 7th grade JV, I didn't coach many of these kids last year but I was proud to see two kids from my team last year had moved up to varsity this year. One of the kids was the hardest hitting players on our team last year and he's starting on the d-line now. The other kid is starting at guard on the o-line. Despite his protests, I had him playing there a bit last year and it makes me feel good to know I was right on in my assessment. I talked with both of them after the game and they were glad to see me. I also got to talk with some former players on the JV team that were watching the game. It was really hard to talk with those kids and watch the game from the stands. I really, really wanted to be out there.
The team lost 12-6 in overtime. It was quite the heart breaker. Before OT, they got the ball with 2 seconds left in regulation (after sacking the Ottawa QB) at their own 39. They ran a reverse pass and the tailback completed the pass for what I think was the first completion of the game. The receiver drug defenders for a few yards before finally getting pulled down inside the 5. I didn't know an 8th grade game could end that exciting.
Neither team scored in the first OT. Ottawa scored to start the 2nd OT and WMS lost a fumble on the first play of their half of OT #2, ending the game. The mom of one of my players from last year commented, "this is the type of game that gives parents gray hairs."