Tuesday, September 01, 2009
Season 3 of Panthers Football
Panthers season has officially begun. Our Saturday's are booked for the next 12 weeks. Last year Maddie cheered for Nate's team. Nate has moved up to Varsity and Maddie does cheer and Pom for the JV team, which plays a couple hours before Nate.
The South Lyon Panthers football organization is pretty amazing in terms of it's organization and structures. It's all parent/volunteer run, which means that each family has to sign up for a certain amount of volunteer time. I chose the chain gang this year, which is about as a fun as a volunteer job can get. How do you beat standing on the sideline next to the action, watching the kids play and listening to the opposing coaches bad-mouth your team?
This is Maddie's second year of cheer and Pom (yes, there is a difference) and she loves it. Her background with gymnastics gives her the chance to do some of the stunting and she's a natural leader out there with the girls.
This has been an interesting year for Nate as he enters into Varsity. The guys on his team are as big as 230+ lbs and at 80 lbs, he's one of the smaller guys. He's been playing corner and running back, but the contrast in size, as you can see from the picture on the left, is pretty huge. There's nothing easy about an 80lb guy hitting up against a 160lb line men, or getting tackled by one. They intensity of the workouts has increased significantly from JV. They run the guys hard, near the equivalent intensity of what we do in our Triad workouts. They had some extended three hour practices last week and I felt for Nate when he came home wiped out. I think the team is seeing a big difference from the conditioning, as they've still got plenty of gas in the second half of the game.
I'm so impressed with Nate's attitude about about the intensity and the disparity. Nate doesn't complain, he goes in with no fear, and he works his tail off. As happens with all of the teams, the coaches play the bigger, faster second year guys and the more junior, smaller guys don't get the same kind of playing time. It's frustrating for Nate, but he gets it, and I think it motivates him to push a little harder to stand out. I never had the guts to do what Nate's doing when I was his age and I'm so proud that he is. He's doing it because he love it, not because of what anyone else wants him to do.
For the past few years, I've also been the unofficial team photographer. Don't get me wrong - love doing it, but it just takes a ton of time. Not only do I take pictures through the two hour game, but it takes me 2-3 hours to go through the pictures and edit the 500-700 pictures down to the a couple hundred really good ones. I try and get pictures of all 30 players, not just the stars who make all the plays. It's amazing how cool you can make an out of context show look, by cropping it just right to not show the fumble or the missed block. At first I wasn't sure if anyone actually looked at these pictures. One of the Mom's on the team shared with me that some of the Dad's go through the pictures one-by-one with their sons, looking for their own pictures, missed blocks and good hits.