There’s a lot to write about today, so let’s start from the beginning; and I’ll try not to skip around too much.
Tai Chi was indoors thanks to the tail-end of the overnight thunderstorms that kept things wet for us. Breakfast was normal weekday fare, but I was glad to have that time with Mom, Dad, and the twins when I knew that I’d be gone most of the day. Michael was at the Inn for the breakfast shift again, so I didn’t talk to him much; and he was busy with football after that. Jenny only had us do cheerleading practice for the morning again, and that worked out better for me because I was able to help out with the lunch shift at the Inn before going back to the school to help with getting everything ready to go for the cheerleaders and marching band.
Thanks to football practice, we didn’t have a lot of help getting the music gear together; so we barely had that done when the buses arrived for the band and team. We were mostly dealing with the larger musical instruments and all of the gear for the color guard, but that was still enough gear to fill half a bus; and the rest of the space on our two buses was for the band members while the football team had their own bus. I would have rather gone with Michael, but that wasn’t an option; and the players were going to be kept busy with ongoing team meetings anyway. We were ready to hit the road by three-thirty; and we collectively had a very excited gang of teens and tweens in all of the buses. Rowen and I sat together; and we had some of the younger kids around us – most of them looking for support while heading out on their first big adventure of this type. That group included Jessica, Patrick, Scott, Lindsay, Emma, and Geraldine; and we had fun hanging out with them and keeping ourselves entertained during the long trip.
By the way, the farm kids might be used to buses, but I’m not; and starting out this season with one of the longest bus rides we’ll have reminded me of why I was glad that we didn’t need to use buses over the past two football seasons! ;^)
I’m not going to get into much detail for the interaction of our band members, but there are some stories developing with the younger tweens and teens; and some of those stories include friendships between kids from our school and Maple Valley students. There is sure to be news of the teen drama variety now that we’ll be getting together every Friday for Football games along with the Tuesday practices; and that part of our adventures is going to keep life interesting. This was my first visit to Winfield Farms. We drew them for this opening match because of our playoff game against them last season; and haven’t been up against them in our past two regular seasons. Winfield Farms is a bit bigger than Witch Falls, but not by much; and their high school is a few decades older than ours. Everything was in good shape, though, and the locker room that was set aside for the visiting team cheerleaders has likely had a recent make-over.
We were at the school in time to have a band warm-up; though the football players couldn’t be with us for that while they continued to get ready for the game. We then had time to have dinner, which was a bag lunch for Rowen and me while the rest of the band and our fellow cheerleaders were about evenly split between those of us that brought our food and the group that picked up food to go from the stores or restaurants in town. Rowen and I didn’t want to do that because we had extra work to do between band and cheerleading; and we needed to be ready to switch from cheerleading to marching band mode very quickly at half-time. We also need to help Michael and Tim out; since they had even less time to get ready for band at half-time – just the time allotted for the half-time shows for the cheerleading squads from both schools.
I’m missing lots of those little details for the pre-game activities, but the what we did isn’t as important as the fun we had doing everything together with our friends. That does bring us up to game time; and let’s start with the cheerleading action first.
Jenny is a very out-going girl, and she loves the attention that comes with being head cheerleader; so she was in her element tonight as we took to the sidelines and got ready to cheer for our team. Emma and Bethany were very nervous compared to the rest of us, and since Jenny and Tammy didn’t even seem to notice that; Rowen and I took care of our junior cheerleaders to make sure they were okay. I also want to mention that Rowen and I got a lot of attention tonight, and while this will sound conceited; that’s because we’re the two hottest cheerleaders on our squad this year. Please don’t take that the wrong way, and I’d certainly never say that to anyone, but it’s true; and we don’t want most of that attention. Yes, that is inconsistent with joining the squad in the first place; so just keep in mind that we are doing this to be around Michael and Tim while they’re immersed in football from August until Thanksgiving, and while they don’t really like the attention we get from other guys; they don’t seem to mind that we are attractive-enough to earn that attention! ;^)
Moving along, our cheerleading work got started when our team was introduced and ran out onto the field – and eventually to the sidelines on our side of the field. We’ve had another hot day with rain and storms in the area, and Winfield Farms has had a fair bit of wet this week too. The football field was in fairly decent shape despite that; which was good for the game and our half-time show activities. There was a bit of an opening ceremony at the fifty-yard line that was mostly all about the Winfield Farms team and their achievements from last season; and then the game started with the kick-off to our team as Winfield Farms won the coin toss and deferred to the second half.
There’s a very good chance that they almost immediately regretted that decision; since we scored a touchdown on that first drive and never looked back from there. Michael earned that first touchdown, so I was fired up about that; and he went on to have a great game! Reid Spencer gets credit for that – and for helping Tim with really great passes too; but Michael and Tim were simply too good and too fast for the Winfield team to keep up with them. I won’t bore you with the play-by-play, but in the first half, Michael had three touchdowns, including one pick-six on defense in the second quarter; and Tim had one touchdown to get us to a twenty-eight to ten lead going into the break. Tim might have only had the one touchdown to that point, but he and Michael both had a lot of yards and catches; and Reid had a scary-good completion percentage too. The eighteen point lead was closer than the game actually was – mostly because the one touchdown that Winfield Farms did earn was thanks to just one good play; and the field goal was a short-field opportunity that they couldn’t turn into another touchdown.
Okay, we’re up to the half-time part of our night; and it was time for some of us to kick it into high gear. That started out with the half-time routine for our cheerleading squad; and we were allowed to go first so that we’d have time to get into band mode while the Winfield Farms cheerleaders did their routine. Jenny went with a routine that she and Tammy had put together; so we were a hit with the teens and young adults for our music choices; and the acrobatics were fairly intense too – thanks to Rowen and me. That works for us, since we each have our own strengths, and while I still prefer the themed or story-telling routines more; it is sometimes fun to just rock it out and get a bit crazy with the tricks!
We didn’t have time to enjoy that success, since we needed to do a quick change and get with the band. I also got Michael’s saxophone ready to go; so it was ready for him by the time that he joined us – along with the other football players that are also in the band. When it was time; we marched out onto the field; began playing the first of the songs we’ll be playing at Disney; and worked through our simple marching formation that ends with us standing in a double ‘R’ that could likely be seen from the top rows of the bleachers above us. As I’ve mentioned, it isn’t a great feat of marching, but we do sound good; and our little show seemed to be a hit with the Winfield Farms fans.
By the way, fundraising was going on at the game, and while I was out of the loop for that; I have already heard that we earned a nice bit of money – and sold at least one hundred fruit and vegetable boxes in addition to the raffle tickets sales that are part of another fundraiser that isn’t really going to get started until next weekend at the game and at the park during the holiday festivities. I’ll add more on that sometime next week or weekend; mostly because there are actually still details being worked out on that for the list of prizes.
After we marched off the field again, the cheerleaders and footballers needed to hurry up to get back in uniform and out onto the field. That was tougher for Michael, Tim, and the other guys; but we all managed to do that; and then it was back to the football game! Winfield Farms started out with the ball, but they didn’t keep it for long when Tim got an early interception. He didn’t score on that play, but Michael did earn his fourth touchdown two plays later thanks to yet another really good throw from Reid. Winfield Farms answered with a long, drawn out possession that ended in a field goal; and then we came back with Tim’s second touchdown – a long run after the catch spectacle that really showed off just how much bigger and stronger he is this year as he broke several tackle attempts on the way to the end zone.
We were ahead forty-two to thirteen by then, and Coach Robinson made the call to ease up after that – on offense. Winfield Farms tried big plays after that to try and get back into the game; which is why Michael and Tim each had one more interception; and Winfield Farms only managed one more field goal before the end of the game. Our team had three field goals in the fourth quarter. Michael and Tim weren’t thrown many passes after that last touchdown because Coach just kept getting Reid to hand Lucas the ball and let him run with it. He didn’t score any touchdowns tonight; but he did get one hundred and forty yards on the ground – a really good number for any high school player. The final score was fifty-one to sixteen, and while that was tough for the Winfield Farms team and fans; it was a great start to our season – and much more fun for us than that first loss was last year.
We did take some time to celebrate after the game, and Rowen and I had extra fun with Tim and Michael; but then we needed to get moving again – starting with hitting the showers and getting the cheerleading and football gear packed up and into the buses. Most of the band gear had been loaded by then already thanks to the rest of our band mates, but while they did have to wait for us; nobody seemed to mind doing that – especially when getting snacks or other treats had been an option after the game – sometimes at a discount for food or drinks that would need to be tossed out if not sold. Rowen and I got to have a few of those treats thanks to Jessica and Patrick; but we didn’t get around to that until we were on the bus and heading for home.
Here’s where we get to the part of the day where the trip was getting tough for some of us; though we still kept ourselves entertained as we talked about the game; our first ‘gig’; and all of the usual teen chat topics. It was past-one by the time we were back at the school; some of us needed to stay there for another forty-five minutes or so to get all of the gear put away; and then Michael walked me home. Tim and Rowen went with us as far as Rowen’s house; and then we left them there because they didn’t need our help with the goodnight hugs and kisses – anymore than we needed their help with ours. Michael came inside so that we could do that – and so that I could share a bit of Magi healing with him. He was one of the best players out there tonight; but he still took some hits; and had a tough game from that perspective. Most people don’t realize just how many yards a wide receiver can run in a game, since the only yards that count are when they have the ball in hand; but that doesn’t include the running in every other play – which is both on offense and defense for most of the players on our team. I was glad to do that for him; but doing that has helped to wear me down even more than I already was.
Unfortunately for me, my night wasn’t quite over yet after Michael went home – and he needed to do that because he’s working the breakfast shift; and will be doing that on just about four hours of sleep. Mom, Dad, and the twins were sleeping by then, so I only stopped in for goodnight kisses with my brother and sister. Ehlana woke up long-enough to ask about the game and advise me that Mom, Dad, and their team beat the Raiders to win their last regular season game of the year; and the bandits will be the home team for their co-ed division in the championship game a week from Sunday.
Once I was in my room and ready for bed; it was time for the email and computer check; and then I had to deal with some family business work that needed to be dealt with sooner instead of later because the opportunity was time-sensitive. That added an hour to my night, but I didn’t have a time phase left in me; so I worked as fast as I could; and got the job done. There were some family and friends emails to read and answer too, and while that didn’t take long; it did still add more time to the conscious part of my day.
That’s why I can be sure that I’ll be unconscious once I get to the nap I still have time for before getting started on my chores and work day at home and the Inn. My weekend is going to be more work than play time from here, but there will be some fun mixed in – especially with the camping or sleepover we’ll have tomorrow night while the parents are out at the annual end-of-baseball-season party at Sheldon’s. Michael, Tim, Rowen, and I will be among the babysitters – whether we’re all here and camping or split up with the kids at several houses; so we’ll have to make that a work and play night that will hopefully include a bit of cuddle time with Michael for me – even if we won’t be able to have a co-ed sleepover.
I can report on that tomorrow, though, and it’s way-past time for me to crash now; so, until next time...
...May the Magi Force be with you!